If you’re reading this, it means you found us with a few clicks of your communication device. That’s how most students find their school of choice these days; or, for that matter, the ideal restaurant, especially when travelling. Websites give you an inside look to compare content, value, values, reviews, etc. So the story any school’s website tells is an important one, and these days it needs to go beyond typical luring lingo. Design, images, mood, stories, and customer experiences are key to convey the space and people who work it, what the school is, what it does, how it does it, and who it targets. Not an easy task.
It took 8 months to create the present site. Our goal was to better reflect our fresh-sheet approach to education, our ability as a school to evolve on a dime, based on what is happening in our food world and what our students desire. But even during the building process of the new site, new ideas were occurring inside the school, instigating constant little changes to our original drawing board. How do you build a website that reflects change as it happens without having to start from scratch? Well, we did find a solution, but not without the lengthy and sometimes challenging hoops that comes with the process.
Cooks have a penchant to figure things out, to make things happen, which makes us persistent and good learners. Which is why we got directly involved in the process, including ex-students playing a key role in the final design. With the patience of our webmaster and designers, an interesting learning process occurred: we learned the ins and outs of their skills while they learned the unique culture of our school. By participating in the process to piece together every inch of every page, we now we have the skills to adjust it any time, to keep it as current and fresh as possible. This is huge for us, as our most important product/service is communication. We know we have a great product, but communicating it well is what will get it noticed. And it keeps us in the moment, not the past.
When we teach our students the practices involved in starting a business, we showcase Northwest as a prime example, one which the students experience from the front door to the back. But we are quite emphatic about learning the importance of website design and social media involvement, and we are a good example of the importance of having a hand in all processes of a business. In a technological world that focuses on specialization, food will always do better in the hands of a Renaissance thinker. And the Renaissance was about getting the message out.