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Success Story: Restaurants Canada

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About Restaurants Canada

Restaurants Canada is a national, not-for-profit association representing Canada’s diverse and dynamic restaurant and foodservice industry. Restaurants Canada members comprise 30,000 businesses in every segment of the industry, including restaurants, bars, caterers, institutions and their suppliers. Restaurants Canada offers a suite of industry research, information, events, programs and discounts that keep their members informed and competitive.

The Challenge

For years Restaurants Canada was seen as a source of valuable content regarding all information pertaining to the restaurant and foodservice industry. More importantly it maintains 30,000 members, including foodservice providers, food suppliers and distributors, as well as other related operational services. Membership with Restaurants Canada allows restaurant operators to become a part of and have access to their large ecosystem of vendors and suppliers.

With the growing popularity of social media platforms, mobile usage and interactive websites, Restaurants Canada knew they had to address the problem of their legacy website. Their website at the time was non-responsive, non-mobile friendly, and didn’t support their business operations and channels for revenue.

Their bookstore which was an important source of revenue was disjointed. Users would have to add their books to their shopping cart, then upon check out go into a new system for payment processing, which would then be followed by a phone call to collect shipping information. This process cost them thousands of dollars in inefficiency.

The Solution

Restaurants Canada worked with TechBlocks to build, and implement a solution that would fit their needs. This included the website content management strategy definition, design, and technology recommendations. This required a complete website redesign which included the migration to a Content Management System (CMS).


DNN Evoq Content Consulting Solutions

TechBlocks began the strategy by defining the objective and the goals for the website. TechBlocks recommended Restaurants Canada to not only think of the website as a source of content but also as its most valuable customer facing asset, designed with a specific goal or purpose in mind. This lead to the creation of visitor personas which were instrumental in designing user paths to achieve the recommended goals.

Once personas and user flows were defined, TechBlocks then focused its attention on the information architecture of the site to ensure it supported the desired goals. The information architecture was the main focus of the project. Not only does Restaurants Canada produce a magnitude of content, content itself is produced in varying formats. The information architecture included a newly build e-commerce website for their bookstore which would have full order management functionality such as check-out, payment, and shipping all connected for a seamless user experience.

Other content types included news and events pages, dynamic feed of industry news, location for monthly newsletter, tradeshow pages for specific events, as well as a resource center for research articles and tools. In addition, TechBlocks also defined how to best build a directory listing for all members which would allow for easy search capabilities.

It also included a portal for new members to sign up as well as a portal for existing members to renew their membership, both connected to their back end CRM system. Member engagement is crucial to renewal rates, so to maintain engagement members are provided exclusive content. This meant that the information architecture needed to support unique access to different content.


Home Page

TechBlocks designed the home page for Restaurants Canada to identify the IP of each visitor. Then based on the IP location for the visitor would only display news content for that particular region.

Industry Issues

TechBlocks designed the Industry Articles section to display the most popular articles on top. Visitors would be able to view archived industry issues item, and navigate to news through the calendar and category menu.

Trade Shows

TechBlocks built a Trade Show landing page that would allow users to see a list of trade shows that occur on an yearly basis. Given the number of events that would be created throughout the year, Restaurants Canada leveraged templates allowing content authors/editors to enter pure HTML content using easy to use WYSWYG editors.

Book Store

TechBlocks rebuilt the bookstore functionality on an e-commerce platform custom inventory management module that was able to generate the following reports:

  • Top Selling Products
  • Cart abandonment
  • Daily Sale Order Activity
  • Monthly Sales Order Activity
  • Sales Payments reconciliation
  • Top paying customers by sales orders


DNN Evoq Content Consulting Solutions

For a user friendly solution which would allow content authors/editors an easy way to create content, TechBlocks proposed that the site be built on DNN Evoq Content. TechBlocks also provided several page templates with flexibility to choose layouts and content modules as well as providing authors and editors the ability to create the following pages dynamically:

  • Research
  • About Us
  • Contact Us
  • Testimonials
  • Member Benefits
  • Business Tools

With over two dozen content writers, the key to selecting Evoq was also its ability to manage content from multiple work groups with workflows to support publishing rules.
To provide the payment gateway required for the e-commerce Book Store, TechBlocks proposed Restaurants Canada use the Chase Paymentech Payment Gateway. The solution would provide functionality such as, recurring payment option (monthly, yearly) for the membership, handling of multiple tax structure based on provinces, and shipping rules, while remaining PCI compliant.

In addition the website had to be built to support dynamic content. Not only did the website display regional content based a visitors IP address, but it was also built to support secured content accessible to members only. This required the proper security roles to be set up. Dynamic content would increase visitor engagement with through relevancy.