Cottage Inn Carryout & Delivery, Inc. is a pizza restaurant franchise, home to 50 stores in Michigan and Ohio. Serving gourmet pizza with Greek and Italian favorites, Cottage Inn crafts pizza with perfection without skimping on the quality of their ingredients.

Cottage Inn

Our Challenge

Cottage Inn was having difficult times with its previous agency partnership, and the website that they crafted for them. Lack of functionality, improperly-written code and overall negative site performance were holding them back from being able to have the online presence they were aiming for. 

They were also looking for a partner they could trust: a team to guide them down the right path in terms of best practices, upcoming trends, and how to achieve their goals. 

The Cottage Inn team interviewed a variety of agencies, including TM, to help bring them back on track and give them the right product to build upon moving forward. After multiple meetings and deliberation, they chose to entrust us with this endeavor. We were ecstatic (which included celebrating with buying Cottage Inn pizzas for the office), but it was time to get to work.

  • Temporarily address existing issues
  • Complete in-depth user research with existing customers
  • Rebuild the website for usability and performance
  • Focused heavily on user experience and design
  • Established correctly-written code
  • Laid groundwork for future functionality enhancements

Our Solution

TM‘s Design team kicked off this project by conducting User Experience (UX) and Information Architecture (IA) testing. This testing helped us learn how their then-existing website worked while gathering information to update and design for the newly rebuilt website.

After our design process was complete, our developers began working on creating the new website. The new, refreshed website largely focused on usability, easy updating for their internal team, and correctly-written code.

Also, we wanted Cottage Inn to have a more visual experience with the intention of keeping the user engaged and wanting to explore your products and website. The design aspects included larger product photos on the menu product pages to bring more interactivity for customers to browse through toppings, sides, DipInn cups, and any other add-ons.

Coordination and communication internally and within the code repository became crucial throughout each step to ensure each task was being carried out. Due to the size of this project, multiple developers stepped in to ensure functionality and deliverability for the client.

Pizza Calculator

TM created a pizza calculator to help hungry visitors decide how many pizzas they need before placing their orders. The calculator allows the visitor to select the number of adults and children, then populates the suggested number of large pizza to order. If the visitors’ party of pizza lovers are extra hungry, then they can check that box, and it will increase the number of pizzas to order - how cool!

Sticky Side Navigation

To help pizza lovers choose the right menu options to order, our developers created sticky sidebar navigation on the Menu page. On the desktop version, the sticky navigation helps visitors see the entire Cottage Inn menu listings, therefore enticing users to learn more and potentially order sides, along with pizza.

Custom Menu Builder

We created a very robust menu plugin that integrates a custom post type to allow the Cottage Inn internal team to quickly and easily edit their menu items. It also allows new content meta boxes to arrange their products in a drag-and-drop interface, resulting in a responsive, customized menu page.

Easy OnSIte Ads & Banners

TM established an easy way for the Cottage Inn internal team to easily swap out rotating banners on the homepage without much developer knowledge to achieve it. Cottage Inn can add banners for different times of the year, including holidays, site-wide promotions, and coupons.