In the year 1921, White Castle served up its first burger in Wichita, Kansas. That same burger led to White Castle becoming the first fast-food chain in the United States, boasting 10 locations nation-wide by 1930. Today, almost a century after White Castle’s burger debut, the company is still innovating—except this time, it’s their excellent digital experience, rather than their mouthwatering burgers, making the impact.
With the dynamics of White Castle’s business evolving to include grocery retail sales and restaurant delivery, the burger brand wanted this evolution to be reflected throughout its digital presence.
In early 2018, White Castle chose to partner up with Ohio-based digital agency DYNAMIT (now WillowTree), a dotCMS partner, to lead the reinvention of the brand’s website experience.
The new website needed to empower White Castle with:
In particular, White Castle was eager to give back to its growing base of loyal supporters, known across the U.S. as ‘Cravers’. To make that possible, White Castle, together with DYNAMIT, needed to select a content management system (CMS) capable of fueling digital experiences that are just as memorable as the legendary Original Slider®.
After reviewing the project’s ambitious requirements, DYNAMIT and White Castle decided to leverage the proven prowess of dotCMS, an enterprise Java CMS.
According to DYNAMIT, dotCMS presents the “best fit for the project as it allows White Castle to operate more nimbly, adjusting content on-the-fly to reflect ever-changing offerings.” This level of flexibility is afforded by dotCMS’s Edit Mode Anywhere feature which empowers White Castle’s in-house team to continuously create and update content for their website—without having to rely on their IT department.
Moreover, thanks to dotCMS content tagging and personalization tools, DYNAMIT reports that “White Castle now has more freedom and flexibility to choose what they promote and where it shows up throughout the site, with immediate examples being its focus on grocery and delivery. This gives White Castle even more flexibility for future iterations of the site.”
Following the launch, Cravers across the world can visit the White Castle website to experience first hand White Castle’s digital leap towards increased engagement, creative interactivity, and superior customer experiences.
The Crave, for instance, is a new section of the website that allows users to personalize the content shown on the site by dialing up and down various types of content via a user-friendly slider displayed in the sidebar. The slider enables visitors to quickly configure the site to instantly display more recipes and event-related news—while removing grocery information from view if they so wish.
But the interactivity doesn’t end there, as Cravers can now explore Craver Nation, which includes recipes submitted by fans, as well as the Cravers Hall of Fame, which showcases the names, images, and stories of Cravers who went the extra mile (sometimes literally!) to satisfy their White Castle cravings.
In addition, White Castle’s digital mascot Rooks can also be seen around the website ready to give visitors deeper insights and behind-the-scenes information about America’s oldest fast-food chain.
Finally, DYNAMIT leveraged dotCMS’s flexible codebase to ensure that every page of the newly revamped White Castle website was ADA compliant and easily accessible to web visitors using screen readers and other assistive technologies.