Website as an essential part of all marketing efforts

My role as a Marketing Manager was to develop a concept, marketing strategy and visual design for the new restaurant in Marietta, GA. My team members were General Manager and Managing Partner. Starting point was an empty restaurant space under construction and a name- Cosmopolitan. Everything else was still undefined at this point.

Initial research

Starting point was collecting general demographic data, wide competitive research and exploration of trends and influences in Food & Beverage industry. Result was choice of general concept direction- upscale casual.
More specific competitive research followed, split into online research and field research.
Online research gave us intel about strengths and shortcomings of each close competitor.
Field research gave us starting point for building User Personas.
Temporary website was developed with goal of building email list and collecting google analytics data.

Customer Personas

Selection of customer personas and their definitions were done by initial assumptions and hospitality experience of team members followed by field research in order to validate assumptions, discover patterns and make data synthesis.


Age: 55
Status: Married
Work: Home Office

Behavior and activities:
Runs his business from home office. Plays golf weekdays, goes to his Florida beach house most weekends. Dine outside almost daily. Goes to restaurant alone, with his wife, occasionally  with his employees, and extended family on holidays.

Needs and values:
Budget conscious while dining out, prefers steak house atmosphere and do not enjoy sports bar atmosphere. Usually sits at the bar area and appreciate  conversations with other bar guests. 

Challenges and pain points:
Upscale places usually require certain dress code and their price point is toward “special occasion”  crowd. He would love to have local place that maintains upscale menu and atmosphere so he don’t have to drive to the city. 


Age: 32
Status: Single
Work: Retail

Behavior and activities:
Works around the clock, usually most likely on weekends, but with flexible schedule. Got rescue dog. Goes to gym. Eats healthy and usually at home. Going to the restaurants and bars is more for meeting people than for food and drinks.

Needs and values:
When going out by herself, she chooses restaurants that are dogs friendly. When going out with friends she prefers “bar hopping” within walking distance.
Brunch on the patio would be her favorite meal. 

Challenges and pain points:
She lives in suburbs because of safety and rent prices, but do not enjoy suburb lifestyle. Would love to have place nearby that caters to young professionals, have modern bar program and healthy food options.


Age: 36
Status: Married
Work: Accounting Firm

Behavior and activities:
Lives with his wife, moved to suburbs since they are planning having a family. Goes to gym after work and plays basketball with his friends from college. 
Goes out with his wife and other couples. Prefers dining in the city where he can find crowd similar age.

Needs and values:
Prefers gastropub fare and craft beer when out with friends. Wine and tapas when on date night with his wife. 
Loves sports and plays fantasy football. 

Challenges and pain points:
Finding more diverse cuisine within reasonable driving distance.
Adjusting to the slower pace of life in suburbs. 

Customer Journey Map

Imagined as a continuously updated and improved document, initial journey map was made as a general guide that will be eventually separated for each persona.

Wireframes and Design

Consistency being one of the most important aspects in hospitality industry, design choices were made to reflect general feel and atmosphere of the restaurant. Since the first touchpoint is most likely online, there should not be visual disconnect once customer steps into the restaurant. 

Design considerations

General layout should be very familiar and clear.
Responsiveness is a must, since more than 60% of visits are coming from mobile devices, based on Google Analytics.
Left sidebar starts with the name, address and phone number- as a validation that customer is at the right address.
Main navigation is as short as possible, addressing most essential customer concerns.
Home page area starts with an image of restaurant exterior, since it is new built and locals are not familiar with the new look.
Four images communicate visually frequently asked questions: What kind of food? How does this place looks like? It’s a restaurant, but do they have a bar? Can I celebrate my birthday here? Do they cater?
Footer is made for Call to Action items: Make a reservation, Join mailing list, Get directions.

Launch and iteration

Website served business as an essential touch point on the customer journey, provided useful insights from Google Analytics and helped streamlining sales process.

As business was taking shape, changed and pivoted, user-centered design approach made updates more efficient. It was clear where, when and why content should be added or changed.