MCL Restaurant and Bakery serves made-from-scratch food in cafeteria style restaurants at each of its 20 locations throughout the Midwest. Additionally, they offer catering services–from "family style" to full service–for a variety of events, including weddings, corporate events, and private parties. This is the second year the catering side of the business has worked with SmallBox, and they recently enlisted our help to refresh their website.
We began this project by taking an in-depth look at their website, speaking with key stakeholders to gain insight into what the website really needed to accomplish, and seeking opportunities to enhance user experience. Coming out of the planning phase, we identified three major goals:
- The user's path to requesting a quote needed to be as easy and streamlined as possible
- Locations pages needed to be re-imagined so that users were armed with the information they need to make an educated buying decision
- New content needed to be engaging, fun, and establish MCL as an authority on catering
Enhancing User Experience
In order to make the site more engaging, we set out to create content that was tailored to specific audiences. An updated sitemap and navigation made it easier for brides-to-be and other party planners to quickly find the right content. We created a blog as well, providing additional opportunities for MCL to share fun and informative content related to weddings, catering, and event planning.
We also wanted the site to be as easy to use as possible. Menus for any occasion are readily available, and a prominent button in the navigation and sidebar forms throughout the site create a quick and easy point of contact for prospective customers. A revamped locations page contains an easy-to-use searchable map, and individual locations pages provide location-specific information–everything a user might need to make an educated buying decision.
Designing with Responsive in Mind
With ever-increasing trends in mobile and tablet usage, it's becoming more and more important to provide a great user experience for audiences–no matter what device they're using to browse the web. It's no different with MCL, who sees roughly 30% of their traffic come from mobile and tablet. So, we designed with responsive in mind. The new design not only provides a fresh look for the catering brand but also ensures that all users have a consistently great experience.
A quick peak at the new site design.
Building the Site
Creating a great user experience wasn't just about catering to MCL's audience; it included providing a great end user experience for the client themselves. In order to best fit our client's needs, we built the website on Squarespace, a content management system that provides full hosting and an intuitive interface. Because MCL was already using Squarespace, adding the catering website to that mix places their web presence in one convenient location. And most importantly, we've given them the power to fully manage their website.
The new MCL catering website has a fresh look, provides all the content one might need to make an informed buying decision, and gives a quick and easy path for prospective customers to request a quote. And with a new responsive design, they're serving up a great user experience to their entire audience.