For 50 years, Ruth’s Chris Steak House has brought its signature sizzling steaks and an upscale dining experience to guests worldwide across its 140+ restaurants. But in today’s increasingly competitive landscape, Ruth’s Chris needed to extend its premium guest experience to the digital space. Last year, Ruth’s Chris turned to Huge to completely redesign the brand’s guest-facing digital experiences and reservation system.
A traditional brand facing digital demand.
Despite its prominent position as one of the largest, most recognizable steakhouse brands, Ruth’s Chris has encountered increasing competition from the growing farm-to-table movement, as well as disintermediation from aggregators and digital reservation systems. With the evolution of the fine dining, the brand’s main challenge was to modernize and cultivate a preference for the unique Ruth’s Chris experience while staying true to its roots and loyal guest following.
An inspired guest experience that goes beyond booking.
Huge recognized that today’s high-end diners want to feel that every nuance of their experience will be taken care of—whatever the occasion—and that Ruth’s Chris’ powerful advantage in exceeding guest expectations should be a key element of the brand’s digital presence. We worked with the Ruth’s Chris team to revitalize content and copy on every level, with original brand stories and its heritage recipes featured strategically throughout. To distinguish Ruth’s Chris from the competition, we chose to feature the staff’s culinary expertise and attention to detail with immersive lifestyle photography and video, capturing magical moments in the dining experience as well as the meticulous craftsmanship that happens behind the scenes. By bringing people, moments and carefully crafted experiences into focus, the new digital face of Ruth’s Chris Steak House greets users in a warm, authentic and modern way.
On the new RuthsChris.com, guests can make reservations from anywhere on the site through a simple and elegant reservation flow. The system allows guests to fine-tune their experience while ensuring that Ruth's Chris is able to build a long-term memory of their guests' experience through its robust CMS and CRM solution—an area in which the brand faced stiff competition. The site can now take reservations through the OpenTable API, and with Google Maps seamlessly integrated into its location selection tool, guests can reserve a table at their preferred location.
Flexible options for franchisees.
Guests weren’t the only ones who needed better service online—the new site needed to better serve the Ruth’s Chris franchise partners, too. The improved content and functionality is motivating for franchisees to participate in the larger brand and business story, while still giving them the flexibility to support local events and messaging.
The experience was built on Sitecore for scalability; its templates are designed as a combination of modules that allow the Ruth's Chris team to easily create new pages for promotions or franchise partners with minimal effort. With its new CRM platform, franchisees can feature their own content on the new corporate site for a more unified brand experience.
Ruth's Chris Steak House is now “primed” to stand out in its competitive category. Launched in April 2016, the new Sitecore-backed experience brings uniformity to Ruth Chris’ 140+ restaurants. With a simplified reservation flow, immersive lifestyle photography and video, and a robust CRM solution, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is set up to offer guests its signature hospitality before they even walk through the door. Its revitalized website and online content both inspire and serve guests, as well as gives Ruth’s Chris the technological flexibility to empower franchisees and embrace future challenges. Results so far have surpassed expectations—ruthschris.com has seen a reduced bounce rate and sizable uptick in reservation conversion and completion.