Dine is a website dedicated entirely to restaurants and user created reviews. Users can stop by and search for specific eateries in any city or community they like. A browse option is also available so users can view listings by state. Each state is divided into cuisine type, with everything from fondue to Belgian food and ribs. Top reviewer profiles are featured on the Dine homepage. Each profile includes an image, the user’s favorite foods, location, gender and access to the reviews posted by the user. Along with a text review, the user can also assign a star rating. The site features embedded Google Maps. Users who are searching for a restaurant not listed on Dine can add the location. Dine currently covers dining venues in the United States and Canada.Show more screenshots »
Dine was born in 1994 when the site’s founder Andrew Conru took up residence in California (far from his Midwestern home). He found that there was a serious lack of honest, inspiring reviews in local papers and other resources. He decided to create a website that allows users to give their input. The site has flourished since then. Despite its growth, some users may still find that certain locations are lacking. Of course the user can break new ground by adding restaurants, but some may be deterred when looking for opinions for an area that is not well covered. This may improve in time as the site grows but is, for now, a drawback for some users in certain regions.
Dine offers an experience that is very similar to websites like Urban Spoon. There is nothing that makes Dine stand apart. The site is functional and serves its purpose rather well, however it actually seems to offer up less restaurant information than some of its competitors. There are no menu posting options so users are pretty much left with an address, phone number, category and reviews. This is enough for some but doesn’t give Dine any reason to shine when viewed alongside the competition.
Dine users a friendly orange and white color scheme . Users will notice that advertisements are found throughout the site, lingering among embedded Google Maps. This gives the site a somewhat busy look that detracts from the overall experience. In terms of utility, a user can find restaurants rather quickly however the site design leaves something to be desired. That being said, Dine makes the user feel welcome with playful thumbs up and down icons, fun star ratings and an amusing cartoon mascot.
New users can join the Dine community by clicking the red “Join Now” link in the upper, left hand corner (inside the white navigation bar). The registration form appears on the following page and asks the user to provide an email address, first and last name and zip code. The user can also supply their gender and city however this information is optional. Users are asked if they would like to receive review emails and which types of cuisine they like. After submitting the form, the user is advised that an email will be sent containing their password. This must be accessed before logging in.
Dine is available to all users for free. This is a good thing because the site relies heavily on its user community. Without the users, there would be no new reviews or restaurants added to the site. Dine is essentially a platform for users to exchange their opinions and experiences with local restaurants. There is currently no subscription membership offered. The site contains advertisements which help cover the cost of maintenances and upkeep.
Dine.com is aimed at users who like to post restaurant reviews. Users seeking out reviews can also find what they need on the site, although some may not see the restaurants they plan to visit included. For the time being, user who love to add their reviews will get the most benefit because they can help expand the site’s reach. People looking for good reviews of other people should visit more active review sites, like Yelp.com.