Client: ParTake Kitchen
Project Date: November 2018 - May 2019
E-Commerce Website Design for Restaurant, Meal Prep Service
ParTake Kitchen is a meal prep service that opened in Medina, Ohio in mid-2019. Services like this have started to pop up all over the U.S. because it’s a genius way to make weeknights less crazy while still serving your family a real dinner. Usually referred to as a “meal prep service”, dinners for the week are ordered over the weekend and picked up on Mondays and/or Wednesdays. They’re expertly chilled (never frozen) so they just need to be warmed up. What’s extra unique about this restaurant is that they offer a AIP menu with is gluten-free and safe for people with allergies to nuts, dairy, sugar, and wheat, and is highly recommended for people battling any kind of inflammation.
Because the purchase journey is entirely different than anything most customers had ever experienced, it was crucial that the process was made abundantly clear to customers immediately. First, infographics were created for their home page to provide a visual map of the process. The process then needed to be explained redundantly throughout the customer’s purchase experience.
Being a very unique service, ParTake Kitchen also needed a very unique ordering system; their website also serves as their point-of-sale (POS), managing 99.9% of all their orders. Here’s how we did it.
#1: Majority of the products (dinner menu) are new each week; about 25% of the menu remains the same week after week. ParTake’s owner and/or employees need to be able to quickly and easily add the new menu items each week without goofing up any recurring items.
#2: Online ordering open from Wednesday through Saturday at midnight. Menu and ordering system need to shut down Sunday through Tuesday automatically.
#3: Half of the products are for pickup the following Monday and the other half are for pickup Wednesday. First, the menu/ecommerce website had to make this crucial detail blatantly obvious prior to ordering. Second, customers needed reminders to come pick up given the 2-7 day gap between purchase and pick-up.
#1: As a WordPress website, we used WooCommerce as their ecommerce solution. Custom taxonomies were used to divide the menus (primary dinner menu, AIP dinner menu, kids’ menu, and sides), falling under two main Categories, Monday Pickup and Wednesday Pickup. The products that are new each week are in the main dinner menu and AIP dinner menu. To make adding the new products as quick and easy as possible, ParTake Kitchen adds the new items in a spreadsheet which they import to the website. The categories and taxonomies are assigned in the spreadsheet and products automatically appear in all the correct places with just a few clicks. The WordPress plugins utilized for this process included WP All Import Pro, Advanced Custom Fields, along with Beaver Themer.
#2: While separate sections of the menu items can be viewed individually, ordering can only occur on the one main Weekly Menu page. The content of this page shuts off automatically at 11:59pm on Saturday. The page is turned back on when the new menu is uploaded each Wednesday, with the kill switch reset to the next Saturday’s date. The menu shutoff was created using the Timed Content module by Brainstorm Force. The client also requested a countdown clock, which is utilized on the menu page, and is reset when the new menu is uploaded.
#3: Possibly the most important part was ensuring customers understood the process throughout this unique purchasing experience. Shortcodes were created to automatically pull the dates for the next Monday and Wednesday to display pickup dates at the top of each menu.
The primary Categories for the products are Monday Pickup and Wednesday Pickup. The pickup day was used as the Category rather than a Tag, or custom field or taxonomy for a few reasons. First, because this is the most important part of the customer’s journey as it’s when they will actually receive the goods they paid for. Second, for integration purposes, “Category” is the most common and most likely taxonomy to integrate with other services used for order notifications and pickup reminders such as MailChimp, Zapier, and Twilio.
During checkout they can choose if they’d like to receive a text message reminder on the day of pickup. Info from the completed orders then goes through to Zapier to trigger the pickup reminders. Zapier then filters which ones need a Monday pickup reminder or a Wednesday pickup reminder (or most often, both). They sit in their queue until the correct time comes when Zapier then triggers an email to go out, “Your order, #___, is ready for pickup today between 3:30 and 6:00” and if opted-in at checkout, triggers Twilio SMS to send a text message also.