Cooking on gas
Rare is the restaurant that doesn't have a website.
Even rarer is finding a good one. That was our starting point.
Restaurant Alimentum in Cambridge is one of the top restaurants in the UK. The Good Food Guide calls it “innovative and creative”, “bold” and “strikingly modern”, and placed it in its Top 60. In 2012 they were awarded a coveted Michelin Star.
Mark Poynton (Alimentum’s chef / owner) came to endjin to see if we could help him turn their website into something that reflected the style, quality and excitement of his growing business.
We loved his food, and his strong concept for the restaurant, so we were only too happy to get involved.
Mark Poynton (Alimentum’s chef / owner) came to endjin to see if we could help him turn their website into something that reflected the style, quality and excitement of his growing business. We loved his food, and his strong concept for the restaurant, so we were only too happy to get involved.
Raising the game
Restaurants can make food beautiful and functional - why do so many neglect their websites?
The restaurant industry is not alone in making ineffective use of the web. This poor state of affairs culminated in an impassioned plea by The Guardian newspaper for restaurants to raise their game. Read the full article
So, that's the starting point. How did we get going?
Alimentum is an established business. We needed to get together with investors and the existing PR/Marketing team, as well as Mark, the Chef Patron, to find out what was working for them (and what wasn't). Even when a team is all pulling in the same direction, there are differences of view that an outside perspective can help bring out.
Data, Data, Data
Google analytics, customer feedback, information from the table booking system…
There’s loads of data about the existing site. But what does it all mean? We took a fresh look at the information available to try to paint a picture of the strengths and weaknesses; and to set some goals for the new site.
We helped the business think about the web not just as a shop-front for bookings, but as a tool for their guests (both current and future). From finding out where on earth you can park, to interactively exploring the whole, up-to-date wine list, we focused on customer goals.
The Alimentum team need to be in control of their website. That meant walking their team through the whole design process, so they understand (and can replicate) the language of the site as they evolve it.
We had to choose technologies that they are able to maintain, update, and build on without needing the help of an Endjineer for every job. It meant one-to-one training, internal champions and “cheat sheets” so that new staff could be trained without our help.
Microsoft Azure scales from a single UK business web site to a globally distributed, high performance computing grid. You can benefit no matter how large or small your requirements.
ASP.NET MVC4 WebAPI
Not just for boring corporate development, we were able to leverage the power of the Microsoft stack and our own intellectual property to get a content managed website up and running in less than 2 weeks.
We built a set of client-side, content-specific editors for things like menus, wines and testimonials, to make it even easier for Alimentum’s team to update the site in a consistent way.
endjin didn't just abandon us when the site went live. They continue to work with us to improve our digital presence as our business grows and evolves.
Chef Patron, Alimentum