In the fall of 2013, Andrew Fritz opened The Gladly, a fine dining restaurant with floor to ceiling windows and an energetic, urban vibe, in an upscale neighborhood of Phoenix, AZ. The veteran restaurateur prides himself on providing his customers with a sky-high level of service while maintaining the absolute integrity of his restaurant’s brand across the board. This commitment to excellence can be seen in every aspect of the business, from the dedication of the staff on the dining floor to the first point of contact many diners have with The Gladly, their website.
“When we first opened the restaurant, we had a WordPress site built for us that was formatted for desktop only,” he says. “Since we’re an OpenTable restaurant, we also received a mobile-friendly version of it through their partnership with Duda. But when I saw Duda had come out with a responsive website builder, I decided to try it out. I really wanted The Gladly to have one website with a fully cohesive feel across desktop, tablet and mobile, as opposed to maintaining two websites where the experience wasn’t as seamless.”
Fritz says he found the website building experience in Duda to be surprisingly easy. Choosing one of Duda’s parallax-style templates, he started by importing the content from his existing WordPress site, saving him from manually uploading all of his images, text and social media links.
Once the design was complete, he showed off the new site to his partners. “At first, they asked me about the new design as if they didn’t like it, but it wasn’t that. It turned out they were all just surprised I was able to make it look so good.”
As time went by, Fritz began to regularly log into his website editor to make minor changes and updates. “I’m in the restaurant every day, so I know what’s going on and what changes need to be made. On my WordPress site, I basically had enough access to not screw it up, but I couldn’t make substantial changes. Switching over to Duda enabled me to go in whenever I wanted and highlight new events or update the menu,” he says. “It made a really big difference.”
A few months after creating his Duda site, Fritz began toying with the idea of incorporating dynamic content to help improve his customers’ experience and his marketing efforts. From past experience, he knew that implementing some kind of pop-up to capture first-time visitors’ emails would increase his overall customer conversion. Once someone joined his mailing list, he could use marketing emails to turn them from a diner that would come to the restaurant one or two times a year into a loyal guest who would stop by six or twelve times a year.
To implement this kind of pop-up on his new site, Fritz leveraged Duda’s unique website personalization tools. “The process was really straightforward, which was honestly surprising. The old pop-up required coding, but to create this new one, all I had to do was log in to the editor, select the widget I wanted to add, and set it to only show for first-time visitors” he says.
Within a few days, Fritz started seeing substantial growth in the restaurant’s mailing list. This success got him thinking about other ways he could implement dynamic content on The Glady’s website.
“Restaurant Week is a big time for us and I wanted see if I could use website personalization tools to make some kind of impact on our business. So I set a Notification Bar up with a link to our reservation page with a message that pointed out it was Restaurant Week in Phoenix to our visitors. This was in addition to the normal reservation widget we have on the site. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to give visitors a message right at the top of the site, and that we might get a few more reservations out of it,” he says.
It worked and worked well.
After the madness of the Restaurant Week rush subsided, Fritz checked up on The Gladly’s website stats to see if inSite had helped capture more reservations. He wasn’t disappointed.
“During the month of August, I had a total of 9,303 visits to the site and 499 clicks on the reservation widget,” he says. “In September, I actually only had 8,428 visits and the reservation widget number dropped to 474. But, since I added the Notification Bar through website personalization for Restaurant Week, it gained an additional 374 clicks on top of that. Together, that brings the total number of reservation clicks for September up to 848.”
Fritz credits the website personalization on his Duda website as a critical component of what made Restaurant Week 2014 a success for The Gladly. The 70 percent increase in conversion also got him thinking of a few other ways the Notification Bar could be used to promote special events and dinners taking place at the restaurant.
“On October 22, 2014, we hosted a special dinner with the proprietor of Fox Farm Vineyards,” Fritz says. “The dinner was $65+ per guest and we wanted to make sure we marketed it well. So I set up another Notification Bar to help promote the dinner with a link for more information. After about three weeks, it had over 260 clicks. Even if only half of those people ended up coming to the dinner, that would still account for almost $9,000 in revenue, all from a simple message at the top of our website. Clearly, website personalization is working for us.”