The Cybercritic: Chef Direct

Reviewed Jan. 3, 2 p.m.,
Explorer 5.0

Chef Direct promises Wholesale prices direct to you! but the site needs to deliver a little more in terms of design, navigation, and service.

For starters, the muted gray typeface of the product categories is fuzzy and hard to read. The home page has links to product categories, as well as Shopping Cart, Contact Information and Send A Catalog links, but no links to information about the company or to any special offers.

What’s more, the so-called search link brings me only to a more specialized list of product categories. The search button does not appear to have any true searching capabilities that will allow me to do a search for a specific item.

The site does offer a wide selection of merchandise, such as kitchen apparel, cooking utensils, and cleaning products. Although small, most of the pictures are clear enough. Available sizes for apparel are listed, but there isn’t a size chart.

The site’s privacy policy is clearly written and easy to find. But, the Cybercritic is somewhat put off by the $50 minimum purchase order and the limited 14-day return policy. Still, I try to order, but a page keeps popping up saying that information might be missing from my order and to try again. The site provides contact information for Chef Direct, but at this point who needs the hassle isn’t avoiding purchasing hassles a key point of shopping online?

Overall rating 5.3
Brand identification 6
Fun quotient 2
Graphics 6
Depth/assortment 8
Navigation 7
Ease of product ordering 1
Overall ease of use 5
Timeliness 7
Loyalty efforts 5
Information collection 7
Search capabilities 1
Privacy policy 8