Cornerstone Pub & Kitchen (CPK) owners Keith and Rich were expanding their restaurant group’s empire by purchasing the bankrupt Knotty Shamrock in Northfield, VT and completely rebuilding the space into Cornerstone Burger Co. (CBC) They’re focused on high-quality, unique burgers accompanied by some great local and far-flung craft beers. They wanted a website similar to their CPK location, but needed some pretty cool technical help beyond that.
Keith & Rich wanted the branding to be closely related to the 4-year-old Pub & Kitchen, so Spencer sketched out some mark concepts of fries, burger, drinks, etc and they loved the idea of a cheeseburger icon that would feel familiar to CPK visitors. The made staff shirts, menus and a big, beautiful sign for the front entrance.
We performed some small retrofits to the CornerstonePK.com site, then duplicated it to a new hosting platform and got to work. This saved money and calendar time – the restaurant physical retrofit was going be done in 45 days! This allowed us to bring over the same colors, pages and elements to the new site.
Once we had the new demo site up, we created menu elements, links to the other restaurant group businesses and social connectivity. The site is built on WordPress with a responsive framework which allows manager Bobby Clarke to modify the frequently-changing beer list in seconds AND allows their customers to read them comfortably on just about any screen size.
Then we went about customizing the site to make it unique. Social and contact icons were moved to a persistent header. Navigation was fixed in the header to make it more mobile friendly. Phone numbers are clickable in mobile layouts and direction icon opens navigation apps in mobile devices. The home page features an updatable menu which allows Cornerstone to accurately display beers on tap and current specials. We added an email sign up button that links to their broadcast email account at MailChimp via their API.
Integrating other Technologies
Other than the typical Google Places for Business (maps) capture, social networking setups and co-branding pieces, we also got to help bring a lot of other technology pieces together for the Burger Co.
Wi-Fi with legs
With an almost non-existent cell phone signal inside the building, the guys needed a way for their staff to communicate AND for guests to do the modern out-to-dinner ritual of checking in on Facebook, posting pictures of the latest Vermont craft beer, or even better, writing a review on Trip Advisor. We introduced them to Green Mountain Access’ managed Wi-Fi service which runs a cloud-based captive portal from a Ruckus Wi-Fi Access point. This product gives them multiple SSIDs including one for management (for staff and iPad POS devices) and one for the public that connects to a captive portal webpage.
Brian used Mailchimp’s API to create a portal page that asks patrons to give up some information before they can use the Wi-Fi – effectively giving CBC an ongoing, pertinent source of visitor emails. Joining the network triggers a splash page that asks for users email (which is added to the MailChimp list) and birthdate. Their email gets added to the mail list which also includes an auto-responder that sends a Happy Birthday email to each person the week of their birthday – offering a little something special. Cornerstone grabbed 30 new email addresses in the opening week.
POS on iPads
The CBC guys decided on using NCR’s Silver POS system which works with an app that runs on iPads and communicates via an in-house Macintosh to the cloud-based management system. Steve helped them with the finished work on the ethernet patch panel, the DSL installation and the secure Wi-Fi setup. Then he and Bobby configured and tested the iPads, cash drawer and various printer groups which send orders from the wait station to the bar and kitchen as needed.
The bar also has 3 Sonos Play:3’s, one of which is hard-wired, that communicate on the private SonosNet Wi-Fi. These ceiling-hung internet speakers let the staff play music from Apple Music, Pandora or even streaming Tradewinds Radio, but blocks connectivity from any prying guest mobile devices.
Dropcam for security and marketing
Finally, let’s not forget security. They wanted something that could record activity in case something bad happened while open or after hours. We suggested going inexpensive with Dropcams which would give them cloud-based recording of HD feeds from upstairs and downstairs, accessible by a web browser or mobile device AND the added benefit of being able to create video clips from recorded time periods and share socially (which they did with a time-lapse video of opening weekend).
If you’re looking for an incredible tasting burger (or truffle tater tots!!!), head on over to Cornerstone Burger Co and tell them the kids from VickeryHill sent you. Don’t be fooled into reaching down for that prank quarter stuck to the floor inside the door – you may end up on a Facebook video post.