Mayan Café sits firmly in the heart of Louisville’s dining scene. Offering unique seasonal, local cuisine with authentic Mayan influences, Chef Bruce Ucán and General Manager Anne Shadle have created a must-visit dining destination with a far-reaching and loyal fan base. Having grown strongly and steadily in the four years they have been open, they found that they had grown up a bit. The interior of the restaurant needed an upgrade, as did the website. We saw this as an opportunity to sharpen their brand by refining the logo and redesigning the menus.
We were delighted in the initial phases to work with De Leon & Primmer Architecture. They had signed on to update the interior of the restaurant. We all agreed that the color palette should be executed through from the interior into the site design and beyond. De Leon & Primmer developed a color palette of browns and reds to compliment the the dishes of Chef Bruce: the rich colors speak of roasted peppers and sauces and are intended to compliment the food on the table. The interior of the restaurant was repainted in these colors with a light-catching design pattern on the walls. New weathered wooden chairs lend a rustic feel to the space. Chef Bruce’s own Mayan glyph paintings hang in parts of the restaurant. The entire interior has been transformed.
Our challenge with the logo was to strengthen, not change what was already there. Papyrus had to go as a logotype. We couldn’t lose the Mayan glyph. It means “new beginnings” and sums up the optimism of the restaurant’s brand. We changed the logotype to a more modern sans-serif and strengthened the glyph, making it more vivid so it prints better and can be seen from a distance. This rendition lends itself to replication.
The original menu used centered text that was difficult to read and to modify when menu items changed. A refresh instantly made the menu friendlier and easier to navigate. The OpenMenu service allows the General Manager to easily update menu items for print.
Most people at one time or another have lamented how horrible restaurant websites can be. Unnecessary Flash animations, phone numbers that can’t be found, music, and hard-to-read PDF menus make usability experts fall to the ground in hysterics and leave hungry diners looking for another place to eat. We started from scratch and were able to develop a restaurant site that will set the bar a little higher.
The Mayan Café has a loyal repeat-customer following and premiere partner recommendations from tourist attractions around the city. We needed to present a site that was attractive, alluring and informative, both on the web as well as on the phone. We wanted to give credit to the local farms and food providers that produce the ingredients found on the tables of the restaurant. By combining the talent of Kriech-Higdon Photography with superior content we would create a site that would accomplish the main goals of the restaurant: more reservations for lunch & dinner.
- Design: Capture the spirit of the restaurant without distracting Flash or music elements
- Photography: High-quality photography from Kriech-Higdon Photography
- Daily Specials: Custom Post Types, fed into Twitter & Facebook
- News and Reviews
- Menus: Partner with OpenMenu.com, Show Allergen/Vegetarian Options
- Mobile: Truncated site for iPhone and Android
Daily Specials: Both lunch and dinner often feature multiple single day specials featuring fresh, locally sourced food. We built the specials as a Custom Post type to allow a Twitter service to pull the RSS and post automatically. WordPress allows post scheduling, freeing up management to enter specials in the morning before business hours begin. Lunch and Dinner specials deploy at a pre-determined time, whetting the appetites of prospective diners just in time for them to make reservations.
Recipes, News & Reviews: The Mayan Café is a media-darling. Reviewers love to expound on how delicious, inventive and generally enjoyable dining at the restaurant can be. The Tok-sel Lima Beans have shined a spotlight on the beleaguered vegetable, and the recipe is one of the most requested of all time. The site needed a way to gracefully display new press, recipes and news items without seeming too ‘bloggy’. Users can now sort by category the type of information they are looking for.
Catering: The Mayan Café’s catering skills are one of Louisville’s best kept secrets. Customized menus and stellar service are the hallmarks of their events and their previous customers list reads like a “Who’s Who” in town. They needed a way to organize their catering calls and to call attention to this unique approach to feeding groups elegantly. We chose to dedicate a section of the site, complete with personalized testimonials. We also gave them a new Google Voice phone number for web and print pieces to integrate with analytics so we can track calls and the success of other marketing endeavors.
Farm to Table: A big part of the philosophy behind the restaurant is the solid belief that the freshest, highest quality food comes from local sources. The Mayan Café has a growing association of farm partners with whom they work to provide the best of whatever is available in any given season. Because of this, the food supply is varied and the menus change often. We wanted to showcase this local connection, as well as to encourage the restaurant to speak out about who they partner with, and why.
Menus: Web menus in general are difficult to keep up-to-date. There was also concern that vegetarian items and allergy information be easily disclosed. The OpenMenu solution allows the Manager to update in a single place and easily push changes to the web and to print.
Mobile: How often have you decided to dine somewhere and not been able to call for reservations because you couldn’t find the number? We wanted people to be able to view daily specials, menus and easily call for reservations, any time, any where, and on with any device.
We’re extremely proud of Mayan Café for recognizing the importance of a well thought marketing strategy, utilizing online tools and tactics such as social media, content strategy, and mobile delivery. We’re honored they chose us for the update, and we look forward to a prosperous ongoing relationship.