Out of the Weeds and Into the Black
Restaurant365 began in 2011, started by three co-founders set on improving restaurant management. By tailoring the ERP (enterprise resource planning) software to be solely restaurant-industry-focused, Restaurant365 carved out a niche and began offering its software in September of 2012. Using a single system to integrate POS, payroll, banking, and vendors (plus a lot more) managers and restaurateurs can automate tasks and spend more time on marketing and profits. Over time, the company grew from Austin, TX to Dallas, TX and eventually set up headquarters in Irvine, CA, acquiring Compeat shortly thereafter. Today, with over 300 employees, three offices, and a nation-wide workforce, they’re continuing to grow.
After acquiring one company who had previously acquired another, Restaurant365 was looking to set themselves up as one cohesive brand. The cloud-based SaaS (heavy on the “solutions”) company set out to improve productivity and profitability for any and every restaurant out there, regardless of size or structure. In order to set themselves up for a 60% growth trajectory, they needed an elevated brand and a fresh, user-friendly website.
Brand-new client Restaurant365 came to Solid Digital, hoping for a front-of-house change.
They wanted to:
- Drive leads
- Tell a clear brand story
- Streamline the navigation
In order to do this, Solid determined a website redesign and redevelopment was in order. To reach these goals, Restaurant365 also had to go through some changes, as well.
With each of these goals in mind, and the bigger picture drawn up, Solid Digital filled in the spaces with these specific tasks, alongside Restaurant365:
- Elevate the design, evolve the brand to bring together the three brands: Restaurant365, Compeat, and Ctuit
- Tell the right brand story for differentiating and showcasing Restaurant365 as an industry leader
- Build a more powerful lead generation tool, improving the UX to guide users through the funnel with a clear strategic journey built for conversions
- Streamline the navigation and condense the content
- Develop talking points around and grow the network of partners
All Hands on Deck - The Process
Mise en Place
Solid Digital followed their tested process, beginning with learning and discovery. Restaurant365’s team was ready to start fresh, having felt limited by their previous brand guide. So, Solid’s team was able to bring in new design elements, fun secondary colors, and ultimately broaden the spectrum of R365’s visual assets. Thanks to R365’s willingness to branch out, both teams had fun in the process.
In order to evolve the post-merger brand and elevate the design, Solid Digital helped display the streamlined product offering. To tell the right brand story to showcase industry leadership and differentiation, Solid helped R365 work through a brand personality slider, and kept the biggest customer pain points in mind: the complexities of restaurant management and toggling between multiple software programs (rather than an all-in-one solution).
Everyone On the Line - Working together
The teams were highly collaborative, with Solid Digital focused on creating R365’s new visual identity, redesigning the website, and creating a client portal on the new site. Restaurant365’s team rewrote every piece of copy, and created a mountain of new content that aligned with their newly elevated brand and messaging. The lead designer at Restaurant365 worked side-by-side with Solid Digital’s team, workshopping along the way, ensuring a smooth process. Ultimately, following some look and feel gut-checks, and after multiple style boards were created within hours of collaboration and conversation, the design result was modern, with room to breathe, offering a lighter, cleaned up site that included an extended color palette that played in levels of saturation and shading. These adjustments all allowed for plenty of future flexibility as the company continues to grow.
Solid’s team encouraged R365 to come to a consensus around the buckets for the top navigation menu. The biggest lead generation tool that R365 had was their website; it just wasn’t strategically built—yet. Solid helped cater the content to specific audiences, and the site architecture was fully aligned with the new product offerings.
Beyond high-quality copy, Solid also made sure that R365’s content team had full SEO training for creating copy that would speak to client pain points. This allowed web search to funnel leads with the biggest restaurant management problems straight to Restaurant365’s site. After the site was reorganized with a better defined product and audience pages, Solid Digital’s UX came in to ensure that pathways from every page led to a conversion method or call-to-action, whether a demo try-out, or an opportunity to get more pricing details.
Finally, the partner setup needed a once-over. Rather than immediately categorizing the types of partners they work with in the top nav, Solid helped create a Partner Ecosystem—where restaurant managers can see every level of integration that R365 provides: from service to suppliers, further outlining the ease of the software. And for any future partnerships in the works, the page is set up to grow as the company networks expand.
To further drive home the necessity of R65, a Why Restaurant365? top nav button was created, with the Partner Ecosystem and a handful of case studies nested underneath. And of course, at every turn, a CTA stands out with hover animations and subtle, simple illustrations.
Thanks to an entirely new brand presentation, most of the content on R365’s new site is brand new, from the copy content to the featured images. Restaurant365’s team rose to the challenge to start nearly-from-scratch, while Solid jumped in to balance the new copy, providing context through new graphics and particular image selection. Though the to-do list was long, both teams kept their cool, with everything tracked and organized.
Because of the merger, Restaurant365 had a ton to offer. This led to a big need (and a long journey) to reorganize and relabel their entire suite of end-to-end solutions. With clearer hierarchy, and bigger imagery functioning as a visual anchor, each page on the site became immediately more scannable for the visitor. The extra energy each team added to the project helped refresh the website, giving enough time to make it unique, modern, and altogether representative of R365’s future.
Compliments to the Chef
To keep the momentum and pattern of growth going for Restaurant365, Solid Digital pitched (and created) a client portal. It’s a small, simple piece of the site and has a built-in ability to grow and provide R365’s partners with great resources. When R365 is ready to launch it, it will be ready for whatever comes next.
With a project this big, everyone at Restaurant365 was on hand—pitching in where it was needed. The buy-in is already there, and the entire company fully partnered with and trusted Solid to “bring the growth” through their direction and process, making the website just as convenient and logical as Restaurant365’s offerings.