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Ozumo restaurants launches mobile-optimized sites to reach diners

August 8, 2011

One of the new Ozumo sites

Japanese restaurant chain Ozumo has launched mobile-optimized sites for three of its locations to better reach hungry consumers.

The restaurants in San Francisco, Oakland and Santa Monica were not previously available via mobile. With mobile Web browsing growing, interactive agency IdeaWork Studios, which worked on the redesign of the restaurants’ Web sites and developed the mobile sites, knew the brand needed a presence in mobile as well.

“Their Web presence was all one flash site, which was not viewable via iPads or iPhones,” said Jay Schwartz, CEO and creative director of IdeaWork Studios, which has offices in Santa Barbara, New York and Las Vegas. “It was also cumbersome to view the site on Android devices.

“A mobile version was one of our top three goals in redesigning their Web sites, but mobile optimization was a major focus,” he said.

“The client, like everyone else, is seeing quite a bit of growth in traffic from mobile.”

Hungry eyes
Ozumo’s goals for mobile include being accessible to a wide audience, educating potential visitors and getting people to make a reservation or come in and experience the restaurant.

The mobile sites pull the same dynamic content as the desktop sites.

However, the presentation is tailored for mobile, including a more streamlined navigation for touch-screens as well as the use of very little imagery and large fonts.

“The first thing people do when they’re out and hungry is turn to their mobile device to steer them in the right direction,” Mr. Schwartz said. “They access their favorite review site – Yelp Yelp, Foursquare or Opentable, – but generally look to the restaurant’s site to verify the information they get.

“Additionally, potential customers want to see current menus and accurate hours of operation,” he said.

Mobile users are first prompted to select which location they’re interested in learning about, exposing the fact that there are multiple locations. Then they see the signature image for that location, a little information about the restaurant, hours of operation, and navigation to explore further.

IdeaWork Studios shot original photographs of the Japanese cuisine offered at Ozumo to create the virtual Ozumo experience. It also created a custom content management system to streamline site maintenance.

“A mobile presence is imperative for a restaurant,” Mr. Schwartz said.

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York

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