Clothbound - Case Study
The restaurant industry has a people problem. High turnover and chronic understaffing is the primary reason for bad customer service, long wait times for a table or food and the dreaded negative Yelp review. The cause of the problem is simple. There is a lack of industry-specific recruiting tools to match great talent with great jobs. Clothbound is trying to fix this by supporting the growth and development of restaurant industry professionals.
“Cantina’s key strength is that your people have an incredible sense of empathy - for us as entrepreneurs, but more importantly, for users of the app.”
— Eli Feldman, Founder at Clothbound.
The partnership between Clothbound and Cantina had an unique start. Instead of the traditional project scope and deliverables, we choose to interact with Clothbound on a much simpler level. In the fall of 2012, we sat down with the founders and talked about their dream for the company. As talks grew, so did the trust.
By late 2015, Clothbound was ready to have Cantina design the initial engagement to test market value. Clothbound was smart to start small. It allowed them to identify risk areas and conduct experiments on key assumptions without consuming a lot of resources. This step would later help clarify and direct product changes. Using a web-based prototype, we helped Clothbound test the following:
- Posting will save time in finding qualified candidates
- Swiping will make searching for a job faster
- Cover letters are more important than a resume
- Tagging will make more meaningful matches
- Sign-up gate later in the search process get higher conversion
Confidence in the research enabled Clothbound and us to leapfrog a possible product and pursue a solution. This decision brought a lot of change. Clothbound moved in our office, worked side-by-side with our team. The close proximity allowed the team to develop at lightspeed. We recommend a second set of testing with a laser-focus on how restaurant managers manage their staff. The output brought clear vision on how Clothbound could differentiate in the market.
The back and forth on testing assumptions and designing on research-based results allowed us to design an app experience that spoke to the specialized nature of the business. Something other solutions didn’t offer. It was important that the design reflected the craft and hospitality it takes to have an outstanding restaurant. The content and UI reflected the personalities and culture that define a restaurant committed to hiring the best.
“Good riddance to emailing resumes!”
When it finally came to development, it was fast and flexible. We built the app knowing iterative testing, deploying and discrete features was essential. Clothbound launched on the App Store with 35 paying customers, high public interest and named MassChallenge Most Promising Startup.