Make restaurants independent again

Lead Designer // User research // Paris 2016 // Zenchef


Zenchef is a digital product for restaurants and has for mission to give restaurants more independency regarding reservation website. I worked at Zenchef as product designer for more than two years, and my primary mission was to build new product features by advocating to our users to ensure we're bringing real value to their daily lives.

Problem Statement

Currently, the product doesn't fit our users, and they're not making the best of it. There is a dichotomy between the product and our user's habits, this leads to poor use or partial.

🌘 We note that 40% of our clients are actually using only one feature, the one to manage reservations.

🌑 Also 15% of them doesn't use the product at all.


The good thing is that we already had a bunch of features implemented that we're going to use as a reflexion base and analysis.

So, at this point, we could say that we had the ingredients but not the receipt (haha). Our first step was reconnecting to our clients and their needs. We decided to invest in two months of user interviews to frame the problem and shape our hypothesis.









How to choose the most relevants customers to interview and in which format?

We started by ranking our users from the most active to the less active and listing the features they were using the most, we also determined them by the size of their restaurant, the type and the number of bookings they were driving each months.

Regarding the format, we tried as most as possible to meet them in person. Otherwise, we did a zoom meeting. The interview was about 1h30 long and we started by a "cv" introduction where we asked straight forward questions before getting in more open discussion.

Our users & their relevants quotes

"I just don't know where to start, it looks so complex.
I’m with you mainly because you’re not taking commissions
on reservations."

"I got so many things to think, food delivery, shift, reservations…
I’m not on behind my laptop all the time, an app would help."

Interview outcomes

Life within a restaurant could be very intense between the menus to create, the food deliveries, the human resources to manage, and the service to organize and manage reservations.

Many users mentioned time as the primary battle in their daily routine.

On the digital topic, they're aware of the challenge they have to overcome but also feel threatened by the commission the companies are taking (i.e. La Fourchette, Tripadvisor).

Also, they need to take over their online presence to drive more direct bookings, retain more clients and fight back against fake reviews.

Meet our users


What can we bring to the table? How being more user centred?

• Be decision helper/maker
• Pushing the most relevant data at the right time?
• Interface more conversational?
• Offer a most tailored interface aligned on their needs
• Divide our product in different bricks, lighten the interface
• Native app to go