Restaurant Beijing was a concept website on how we think restaurants (or any venue in the hospitality industry for that matter) in Beijing (at the time) should profile their business online.
The facts are clear:
- internet penetration in China is almost 50% (at the end of 2013) and 81% of those people use a mobile device to get online.
- many companies in China do not allow their employees to browse websites other than directly related to work
- eating out on a daily basis is incredibly common in China
There are literally thousands and thousands of restaurants and 4 out of 5 of their potential customers walks around with a smartphone.
If a restaurant cannot be reached on that smartphone, that is instantly lost business.
With Restaurant Beijing we have developed a network with mobile optimised websites. We have asked ourselves the question “What is the most important information a website of a restaurant must show on a mobile device?” and have built the Chifan (which means eating in Mandarin Chinese) framework around the answers to that question. The framework is used as a master theme template and the sites in the network can all use a very lightweight child theme, specifically designed to the wishes of the restaurant.
Specifically for this project we developed the Mobile Map Widget plugin to be able to serve a static map image with the location of the restaurant. The image is even optimized for retina screens.
The child themes are of course made suitable to be fully bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese and have a homepage that:
– welcomes the visitor with a clickable telephone number and a link to the about page
– shows the visitor what’s going on today (except when the restaurant is closed)
– informs the visitor about regular and upcoming events
– shows a map that opens the directions app of the smartphone
– links to social media page and shows the address in English and pinyin when on the English language and in Chinese when that language has been selected.
The Chifan framework furthermore comes with with an online reservation system, a unique way to introduce the Chef and his menu and a Contact page that that pulls its content from the options the restaurateur has to fill in when taking the site in use.