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Re-inventing the brand

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The Stuffed Dormouse Restaurant & Bar is a well established gastropub located in the historic Roman town of Caerleon, South Wales. Although the restaurant had a great reputation via word of mouth, their online presence was lacking and needed to match their reputation.

The restaurant owners approached us to create a new brand identity for both the restaurant and the adjoining hotel that they had recently acquired. Our task was to create separate identities for both the restaurant and the hotel, but designed in a way that aligned them with each other in order to keep the brand values intact.

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Local inspiration

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The term “Stuffed Dormouse’ originates from the Roman era when residents of lower class could only afford to eat poor quality meat, that would unfortunately include stuffed dormice. However, The Stuffed Dormouse restaurant turns that notion on it’s head by serving high quality produce at affordable prices. It also offers unusual exotic delicacies such as Kangaroo, Bison & Crocodile for those wanting something a little different.

Our initial research for the rebrand was based around the Roman connections that the restaurant had with Caerleon, so we looked at mosaic patterns, geometric shapes and architectural influences to base the initial designs around.

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Creating the new brand

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Injecting personality into the brand

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After discussing the initial concepts, it felt that the ‘quirkiness’ and personality of the restaurant was being lost, and that it started to feel more an identity for a formal dining establishment rather than a local pub restaurant.

From this, we looked at ways in which we could incorporate the ‘Dormouse’ into the logo design. This led us to the idea of the wine bottle with the sleeping mouse hiding inside, along with the roman column with the mouse hole carved at the base. Once these ideas were finalised we created two separate identities – one for the restaurant and one for the hotel, so that they both had distinguishing icons to differentiate between them.

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Website design with table reservations and room bookings

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With the new identities for the restaurant and hotel completed, we were required to create two separate websites for each of the establishments. To keep the branding consistent, similar layouts were applied to both websites with different images being used for the slide area and feature boxes.

Table reservations for the restaurant

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The restaurant wanted to allow customers to make table reservations online through their website. We therefore incorporated a simple to use booking form that customers can use to input contact details, party size, booking date and any other messages they wish to add. Once submitted, the restaurant staff can then manage their bookings and accept or decline any pending bookings made through the website.

Room reservations for the hotel

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For the hotel website, a booking system was required that would allow visitors to make room bookings easily. We incorporated the Freetobook system into the website so that all bookings can be easily managed alongside their existing booking.com account. This ensures that no double bookings are made and that all reservations are managed through one centralised system.

Between April and September 2015, the restaurant received 597 table booking requests through their website booking system.

These online bookings resulted in an approximate revenue of nearly £30,ooo, with nearly 20% of the online bookings being made outside of opening hours, where there is no other alternative of making a table reservation.

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Mobile & tablet friendly and optimised for local search

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Both websites that we built for the restaurant and hotel use ‘responsive’ design, ensuring that they view correctly on a variety of devices such as smart phones and tablets.

We also optimised the websites using relevant search terms and phrases, ensuring that they rank as highly as possible on search engines such as Google.

Between April and September 2015, the restaurant received over 22,000 unique visitors to their website, resulting in over 94,000 page views and first page rankings on Google for ‘restaurants in Caerleon’ and ‘pub restaurant in Newport’.

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