Here’s a crazy thought: rather than bog down restaurant websites with unwanted animation and music, how about putting some actual topical info on the homepage, like “today’s specials.” That would provide a solid reason for customers to check the site (thus creating an advantage vs. menu scraper sites) and might even stimulate incremental visits that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
It doesn’t even have to be in HTML. Just carve out a fixed portion of real estate on the homepage, spend 5 minutes each day taking a photo of a handwritten specials page or chalkboard, and use a cheap content management system to publish.
That’s timely, has character, and probably most importantly gives potential customers information of real value and a reason to visit the site. Oh, and it doesn’t beep, blink, spin or flash. Amen.