Drool-Worthy Designs for an Evolving Quick Service Restaurant Brand

Yoshinoya Website Design

OVERVIEW

In 1899, Yoshinoya opened up their first restaurant in Tokyo, Japan. Over a century and 2,000 locations later, they are still serving up their traditional Gyudon Beef Bowl®, along with with many other bowls - prepared right in front of you using fresh ingredients.

Fresh leadership at the helm and new brand direction led
Yoshinoya to contact us to give their website a modern design
and align it with the evolution of their company.

Discovery

The marketing team from Yoshinoya approached us with a handful of bad designs and 30+ years of company baggage they were hoping to reshape through the website. In an effort to freshen their presence in the US, they were in the process of remodeling restaurant locations and rebranding them as 'Japanese kitchens'. They had previously worked with a few different designers to overhaul their outdated website and bring it in line with the new look, but were not happy with the results. Looking for a different perspective and seeking design expertise, they reached out to us for help.

We were more than happy to jump into a discovery session with their team to talk about what they wanted in their new website designs. We specifically wanted to know what their goals were for the redesign, preconceptions they hoped to reshape, and where the previous design attempts had failed.

Yoshinoya Discovery Image

Yoshinoya UX Startegy Image

UX Strategy

Outlining the goals of the redesign gave our team something clear to focus on: attract new hires, show that the brand is changing, and promote their different bowls. Invigorated by the challenge, we jumped into a collaborative wireframing session to lay out the content for the homepage of the site. With that in place, we moved on to defining the rest of the architecture and wireframing the remaining pages.

One of the things we had been asked to do was put "food first". This request played a hefty role in how we planned to lay out content across the site. Consequently, a large part of our UX strategy hinged on determining what types of images we needed to mix with the supporting copy to help us accomplish the goals of the redesign.

  • Yoshinoya Website Design & Development Case study UX Strategy Image 1
  • Yoshinoya Website Design & Development Case study UX Strategy Image 2
  • Yoshinoya Website Design & Development Case study UX Strategy Image 3

Build

With a strategy firmly in place, our talented designers jumped into crafting a design that employed the perfect combination of imagery, colors, and text. Going the extra mile, we presented various design directions to their team for their input on which they felt would help them best accomplish their goals. Pleased with the options, they honed in on the one that presented their new values the best, and we worked with them to apply and finalize the designs across all the pages on the site.

Since we weren't contracted to do the development for the site, once the design phase was complete we handed the design files over to their team.

The Results

Yoshinoya's website design needed to be reinvigorated, and our team rose up to the challenge and delivered designs that were a vast improvement from the website they had before. Sticking closely to the UX strategy we laid out ensured the designs we handed off helped attract future hires, aligned the look and feel with the changing brand, and promoted their delicious bowls using a "food first" approach.

Unfortunately, since we were not contracted to do the development, when the new site launched we sadly noticed that several aspects of the developed site didn't match the designs we created. However, the live site is still a huge improvement from what was there before, even if all the details we had in the designs aren't there.

Aligning the website design with the progressive brand direction,
the look and feel gives visitors a favorable impression of Yoshinoya.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

A fresh strategy showcasing their freshly prepared bowls gave Yoshinoya drool-worthy designs. With designs that reflect the modern look and feel of their remodeled Japanese kitchen restaurants, Yoshinoya can continue evolving their brand without being held back by an outdated online presence.

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