Modernizing How Dinner is Served
The Dinner Dude is a specialty food service based in Houston, TX. It’s not a restaurant, nor your typical food delivery service. The brick-and-mortar storefront serves as a portal for customers to purchase prepared meals – either pre-ordered or in-stock. The meals are gourmet quality and expertly designed for people looking to eat better. They offer nutritious meals that also conform to dietetic guidelines like the the HcG diet, Paleo, Gluten Free, and more.
Scope of Work
The Dinner Dude had a unique production and delivery model that required careful planning to properly process and prepare pre-ordered meal plans. Their business operated with an 8-year-old website built upon OSCommerce, which was poorly maintained and unsupported. The website wasn’t optimized for mobile users, which made it impossible for customers to place orders on their smartphones or tablets. With a unique business model and a broken website, The Dinner Dude reached out to Divining Point to modernize their business and improve sales.
The Dinner Dude initially requested a new marketing strategy that would boost sales and pull the company out of an apparent dry spell. After some market research and a thorough review of analytics, we noticed:
- 50% of the Dinner Dude web traffic was coming from mobile
- There was a high bounce rate on their home page and order page
- The outdated and poorly designed OSCommerce website hindered online sales
- Mobile ordering was impossible
Given our findings, the Dinner Dude hired us to design a new website and provide consulting to upgrade multiple internal operations. One of the many challenges of this process was that the new site needed to display a large, seasonal menu that would be specific to either real-time inventory (for short term deliveries) or pre-ordered inventory (for deliveries 3 or more days into the future).
The Dinner Dude’s mission is to ensure the absolute freshest quality of food is provided to support the unique diets of their clientele. They used a 3-day production schedule to minimize spoilage and waste. At the end of each day, The Dinner Dude manually updated inventory on the website using an XL spreadsheet upload. The delay between online and real time sales led to massive discrepancies for order fulfillment and inventory management.
Divining Point recommended a new Point of Sales system to track inventory and reconcile in store walk-in sales with online orders. Taking things a step further, we worked with the Dinner Dude to implement a new payments processing solution to reduce charges for credit card payments and consolidate accounting for in-store and online sales.
To create a site that enticed customers to buy, Divining Point created custom photography for the entire menu. Each meal was categorized and tagged based on dietetic categories like HcG, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian and more. A conditional logic form was created and a new database was established that allowed for efficient online ordering reflective of the production schedule. If a customer wanted a two-day delivery of meals, the menu reflected the meals in stock. If a customer wanted a three-day delivery of meals, the menu reflected the meals that would be available after the new production run.
The new Dinner Dude website reflects an improved shopping experience with a better aesthetic, and the sales results speak for themselves. Online orders eclipsed in-store sales and waste and spoilage dropped from 18% to 7%. Overhead and labor costs were nearly cut in half due to the ability to set production schedules based on real sales volume as opposed to speculative predictions.
Subsequently, Divining Point guided the Dinner Dude to utilize the power of social media and traditional print advertising to raise awareness of seasonal menu changes, daily specials, and upcoming fluctuations with ingredients. We taught their internal marketing team how to structure campaigns, photograph plated meals, and distribute that information across multiple online and offline mediums.
Our mission is to build greater trust in the marketplace by helping companies fulfill the promises they make to their customers. As such, we wake up every morning to generate demand for our clients’ services and cultivate brand loyalty.