Preview: Mango’s Wood Fire Pizza Co.

Tomorrow JB has an extended lunch break so we are meeting up for lunch at Mango’s Wood Fire Pizza Co. in the Olde Mistick Village.

JB on lunch dates

Although it’s always nice to dress up and go out for a date night I welcome the mid-week lunch date just as much! It’s easy on my lunch break to sit at my computer and continue working; therefore, the opportunity to get away from the office for lunch forces me to take a break. This week due to scheduling I need to take an extra long lunch tomorrow which lends itself perfectly to eating at Mango’s.

Tom on lunch dates

This summer has been crazy-busy for us1 so it’s been tough for us to go out on date nights lately, which is fine, but when that happens you have to make the time… even if it’s during lunch! Lunch dates are great because — like Jill — I usually just work through lunch, and lunch dates force you out of that awful habit and allow you to socialize in the middle of the day. How European!

JB on Mango’s

My first visit to Mango’s was a couple days after they opened with coworkers to check out our new lunch option. At that beginning the service was slow and a visit to Mango’s couldn’t fit into our regular lunch break which we quickly realized and stopped going. Since then my visits have been infrequent as I couldn’t fit in a trip for lunch and never bothered to take it home at the end of the day for dinner 2.

Tom on Mango’s

Everyone I know loves Mango’s. I think it’s fine pizza, but I wouldn’t rank it in the upper echelons of the Mystic Date Night Pizza Power Rankings3 with Pizzetta. But I’ve got an open mind and am excited to return. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve been there in a few years so I’m looking forward to see what they have to offer now.

JB on what she’s expecting

I’m looking forward to the trip to Mango’s tomorrow but I’m still expecting the service to be slow, until they can prove otherwise. Now to be fair I don’t want to get rushed though my meal and kicked out of a restaurant but I also don’t believe a lunch should take any longer than 45-60 minutes from start to finish unless the patron would like it too.

Tom on restaurant websites

One of the best articles I’ve ever read on website design appeared in Slate a few years ago and focused specifically on why some restaurant websites are so terrible. I highly recommend that you go read it. But it’s been four years since that article was written, and more restaurants are building their own websites using tools like Wix or Squarespace. So now when you go to a restaurant’s website, instead of having a splash page with crazy animation of the chef’s signature that took a team of designers $100,000 to develop, you could have the opposite: simple content in a generic template.

I bring all this up because mangospizza.com is a fascinating example of a restaurant website that is almost great. It appears to have been built using iWeb, so it probably wasn’t built by a professional web designer, so understand that we’re grading on a curve here. (Also, web design houses tend to put a “Built by” tag at the bottom of every page of small business websites, so we can safely assume Mango’s — or a friend of Mango’s — built this themselves.) Let’s break this down:

  • Pros
    • Simple, appealing design
    • Hours on the home page
    • Links to Facebook (which is fairly active) and email club
    • Works on mobile (kind of)

These are significant accomplishments. The amount of activity on Mango’s Facebook page is especially impressive. However, I have a few comments / recommendations for Mango’s:

  • Cons
    • The home page says “Copyright 2012”, which makes me think a.) the website is being ignored and b.) this menu could be three years old.
    • The map and driving directions are not embedded in the “Locate” page. If you want to bounce people to Google Maps (which is fine), then the link from the “Locate” menu item should go directly there.
    • There should be a picture of the restaurant itself in here somewhere. You’re in beautiful Mystic Village4, flaunt it!
    • The menu is a PDF, which is not a great user experience. But it looks nice!
    • This is a big one: resurrect and promote the Instagram page. This could potentially reach more people than the website or Facebook, and it’s languishing with photos of Santa from two Christmases ago. This is an incredible missed opportunity.

Most of these are fairly nit-picky problems that require varying degrees of effort to fix, and… Uh oh, getting dizzy… I feel a rant coming…

<rant>

But there is one thing that drives me crazy about this website and solving it would take five minutes:

  • The phone number.

The phone number!!! The phone number for Mango’s is 860-572-0600. Right now the only place 860-572-0600 is appears in on the bottom of the Locate page. 860-572-0600 needs to be displayed prominently everywhere: on the menu, on the home page, on every page, everywhere. Don’t make users go searching for 860-572-0600. People should be sick of seeing 860-572-0600. They should be like, “Alright, I get it, I know your number is 860-572-0600, I’m calling right now.” 860-572-0600!!!

</rant>

Big Tall Santa visited us last night.

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  1. We’ve been trips to the Berkshires, Saratoga Springs, and Chicago, all within the past month! But you already knew that, because you follow us on Instagram.
  2. If I’m craving pizza for dinner, I go to is Westerly Pizza Place, fyi
  3. Not a real thing.
  4. Sorry, I meant “Ye Olde Mystick Village”.

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