Local Public Eatery
- Client Name
- Local Public Eatery
If you live within 50 kilometres of any major Canadian city, you’re likely already acquainted with one of Canada’s most overlooked business success stories. In the early ’80s, the father-son Fuller duo pioneered the ‘premium casual’ dining genre, which today accounts for some 25 restaurant chains operating across Canada and the US.
Earls and JOEY, the Fullers’ more established chains, have been wildly successful, but you might not be as familiar with Local Public Eatery (Local). While its older siblings focus on consistency and culinary finesse, Local promises an “elevated pub” experience, where you’re “only a stranger once.” With Local, the JOEY Restaurant Group lives out the organization’s original vision: dining experiences that reflect the ethos of the communities they serve.
Local was ready to step into the family’s category-defining legacy and had their sights set on continued southward expansion into the US. To support these big dreams, they tasked Massive with crafting an online experience that could solidify and communicate Local’s essence in a way that could scale along with the brand. For Massive, this project was also an opportunity to recoup some of the thousands of dollars we’ve spent at Local over the years.
- Content Strategy
- Website Design
- WordPress Development
- Creative Direction
A Foundation of Human-Centred Research
In discovery interviews with leadership, we learned about Local’s past, present, and future. What makes Local tick? What is it that brings guests and staff together? The food, naturally, but also the opportunity to experience your neighbourhood with the people that make it so damn loveable.
Throughout our research, one thing was evident: Local’s digital presence did not reflect its in-restaurant experience. Managing the website was difficult, and Local couldn’t keep up. The site’s social feeds weren’t integrating as intended, simple content changes required a third-party developer, and the site’s outdated technology wasn’t responsive. That’s where we stepped in.
Defining the Moments That Count
In today’s world of smartphones and connected devices, guests expect accurate, timely content and a flawless mobile experience. Checking a menu item, ordering delivery, finding a nearby location, and booking a table are all split-second decisions, often made on the go. On sidewalks, in cars, and in offices around our cities, there’s a “Z-MOT” (Zero Moment of Truth) when a future guest is either made or lost.
Local’s previous website was getting in the way of these critical moments. Now, thanks to a carefully planned and executed digital presence, prospective guests get the exact information they want, right when they want it.
Designing an Exceptional User Experience
Before a guest steps foot into a Local Public Eatery, they need to feel an affinity for the brand—a deeper connection to the restaurant and the promise of an experience that will resonate with their aspirational identity.
Creating this bond means achieving a delicate balance of evocative storytelling and practical functionality. A quick-loading, easy-to-navigate site fosters quick decision making. Location-specific menu items highlight corresponding photography on roll-over, allowing guests to preview their food before they order.
Geolocation features list restaurants by proximity, so users don’t have to scroll to find the Local closest to them.
Visit five Local Public Eateries, and you’ll discover that no two are the same. Local Liberty Village features a vibrant outdoor patio, complete with a shuffleboard and tap ticker. Local Kitsilano is smack dab on the strip and enjoys stunning views of Kits Beach, while just 15 minutes away, Local Gastown is the home of the eatery’s test kitchen.
To capture each location’s unique character and story, twelve photoshoots were organized–one per location. Interviews with Local’s Director of Culinary and its regional managers informed stories and content across each location’s landing page.
A detailed photography brief outlined the kinds of photos each site required, right down to composition, colour, saturation, and clothing choices. The result? An image library for each location that captures its unique character while adhering to Local’s overall brand.
Even the most beautiful websites become bloated and outdated when difficult to manage. Rather than handcuffing Local to a proprietary CMS, we built them a custom WordPress website that allows them to make menu and content changes quickly and easily.
“It’s been a breeze navigating through and is going to make such a difference in the time spent on the site moving forward”, says Keiko Voss, Local’s Brand Manager.
The new site also streamlines many internal operational processes. Location-specific inquiries and job applications direct automatically to the right people at the right Local. DoorDash integration allows guests to easily order takeout without leaving the site.
Local’s internal team has the freedom to update each location with specific features and specials, helping drive foot traffic and fill seats during slower times.