Responses by Maxime Royer, partner, business relations and account management, Instynct.
Background: Les Botanistes is a fairly new restaurant in Québec City—the little brother of Nordic bistro Chez Boulay—that focuses on architecture and ambiance. Just across from a botanical garden, this restaurant is anchored in the same spirit. The bright central kitchen, framed by plant walls, becomes the laboratory of the botanical brigade, responsible for discovering and showcasing the best of the plant kingdom. Les Botanistes is a refined bistro, offering a table d’hôte for lunch and a more elaborate experience of local products in the evening.
The target audience of the restaurant is Québec City foodies searching for an organic yet refined and delicate experience for food and wine. The website is the first step customers will take towards the restaurant, so the overall look and feel needed to be aligned. Booking a table had to be made easy and spark people’s curiosity on what’s awaiting them at the restaurant.
Design core: The brand elements included on the website were designed with an awesome collaboration with GRDN, who did the branding. The client needed us to get its brand and its ambiance before making it happen on the web. Organic and delicate were our keywords on this project. A clean layout, neutral colors and refined animations contributed to the creation of a smart but cohesive browsing experience. The subtle rollovers on rectangles, as well as the names of the three chefs, bring a sophisticated experience to the user. Less is more.
Navigation structure: Knowing that people basically look for three main things when chasing their next foodie experience, we had to design something that would best fit their needs. You can easily book a table thanks to the fixed menu. You can feel the distinctive vibe of the restaurant as well. We felt that a one-pager would be appropriate, betting on a good design experience to seal the deal.
Special features: In the section of the menu, we divided each with a double-tabbed navigation, making it very easy, intuitive and quick.
Technology: We used the same recipe for this website as the rest of our portfolio. Basically, we used a custom WordPress theme we’ve developed around the Advanced Custom Fields plugin. This provides the user with simple but intuitive admin screens and full flexibility for updating their website in the future. On the front end, we used a combination of jQuery and CSS transitions to create the subtle scroll animations, rollovers and interactions. Finally, we added the Ecwid WordPress plugin to sell gift cards through the website.