Cafe Fiore is an iconic and award-winning 25 year-old South Lake Tahoe restaurant nestled between gorgeous Lake Tahoe and the mountains. Its quaint cabin like ambiance of 7 indoor dining tables in the cold months and 15 during the warmer months has won the hearts of locals and visitors from all over the world.
When we met Nick Ashmore, the owner and restaurateur of Cafe Fiore in January 2019, the rich history and storied Cafe Fiore brand did not have a proper home online. Loyal guests who love the restaurant did not have a place to gather and share their love and experience. We changed that.
This customer story is for businesses and brands in the fine dining restaurant category or any business owner who wants to learn how to use brand storytelling, digital channels and a connected customer experience to amplify their brand online.
Cafe Fiore’s incredible customer story is a testament to a brand’s successful digital transformation and creating a connected customer experience in the real-world to the online world. The result: 538% increase in online request for reservations on Cafe Fiore.com.
We embraced 20th century technology to amplify our story and made it simple for customers to request reservations in their own time. For a restaurateur who is not tech or content savvy like me, GoGoGuest is our brand’s digital hub. – Nick Ashmore, Owner
How Digital Transformation Prepared Cafe Fiore To Adapt
The enduring success of Cafe Fiore, an iconic South Lake Tahoe restaurant is all about being true to the brand’s core: romance, celebration and gathering of your best friends on Earth. The brand delivers on its promise with a rustic, romantic cabin-like setting, the smell of home-cooked Italian cuisine and a decadent selection of fine wines.
Nick Ashmore, owner and restaurateur saw this opportunity 25 years ago. He successfully cultivated relationships with loyal customers who have returned year-after-year to celebrate a date night, an anniversary, a birthday and friends. For many, the experience of dining at Cafe Fiore is like “coming home.”
The challenge. With all its success and accolades, Cafe Fiore’s digital assets did not have a proper home online. The glowing press from media publications like the New York Times, Frommers and Lonely Planet were scattered across the Internet. Highly-rated customer reviews from Google, Trip Advisor, Facebook and Yelp were left to idle.
To make matters worst, the old website was not user friendly nor optimized and clearly not leveraging the FREE inbound traffic sources. It pulled in an average of 6 online reservations a month, which was not surprising.
Cafe Fiore’s brand online was disjointed.
The solution. GoGoGuest, a customer data and marketing platform for hospitality, retailers and business services fully re-designed Cafe Fiore’s website and optimized online reservations. We identified 3 main objectives when we started the project:
- Stay true to your brand’s story
- Frictionless guest experience
- Visual content and customer data to amplify the brand online
- Scalable technology stack and connected customer data
This is how GoGoGuest helped.
Brand story. Re-designing a great business website for a restaurant brand that is rooted in classic and traditional definition of romance and a gathering of your most trusted circle of friends and love ones is not as simple as selecting a design template or choosing a web platform. Nick wanted Cafe Fiore’s new website to serve as a digital concierge, while he continued to manage and maintain its real-world experience.
Frictionless guest experience. Designing and building a great business website for your business or brand is about making it easy for your audience to find you, learn more about what you offer and make it frictionless when they are ready to hit the request for a reservation call to action.
We also took into account the internal process that Nick preferred to follow: ring back each person who submitted a request for a reservation. This meant we were designing for Cafe Fiore’s guest personas and an internal persona: Nick.
To achieve this gentle balance, instead of integrating with a traditional restaurant reservation platforms, we integrated the Cafe Fiore website with Acuity Scheduling. Doing so offered a lot of flexibility for the guest to pick the best preferred date and time, while also allowing Nick to either confirm or call back with a few options closest to what was requested. Best of all, it gave the Cafe Fiore front-of-the house team to configure that evening’s guest seating based on the total number of reservations.
We also eliminated the cost of platform reservation fees. Reservation platforms like Open Table, charge a set up fee of $1295 and an additional of $199/month.
Visual content and customer data to amplify the brand. Knowing your audience and understanding their desires is a big part of brand storytelling, creating awareness and building audience engagement. Cafe Fiore’s rich history was not amplified beyond the real-world experience it offered.
This changed with their new business website.
Today, Cafe Fiore restaurant in South Lake Tahoe is a recognizable brand online with a highly engaged and passionate loyal customers. The brand’s audience is a cohort of locals, people from all over the world and celebrities who come to explore Lake Tahoe’s world-class beauty and outdoor adventures, then dine at Cafe Fiore.
Built-on scalable technology stack and connected customer data. Last but not the least, Nick wanted “a great business website that would last for another 25 years.”
We built and designed a website for Cafe Fiore that would last a lifetime. Here’s how:
Today’s web platforms are all cloud-based and responsive across device screens. Templates and web standards are constantly upgraded to keep up with the most recent business, consumer and search engine best practices.
We integrated with Squarespace to design and build Cafe Fiore for this reason. Everything that Cafe Fiore needs from scaling and updating web content including its menu, gift certificates and a COVID-19 health and safety standard statement is super easy. Adding new potential service offerings like family meals and wine gift packs in the future will not require a website overhaul.
GoGoGuest is a customer marketing and data software subscription solution that helps every business and iconic brand better understand their customers. We are trusted by over 200 businesses and power more than a million customer engagements every month. Our story.