Helping Customers Bring Their Ideal Product to Life

Don’t tell anyone, but marketers and developers sometimes get emotional, too – especially when it comes to our clients. One of the clients we feel most deeply about is Eastern Tabletop. When they first came to Forwardslash, they were a newborn company with a low profile and huge ideas. Today, they’re well-known in their industry – and their ideas have only gotten bigger.

Eastern Tabletop has manufactured top-quality buffet products since 1950. They are renowned for their innovative and unique designs, catering to the diverse needs of the hospitality industry. When they first began working with Forwardslash, their website was small and simple, commensurate with their modest size at the time. As the company grew over time, we added more to the site – new pages, sections, and features – and conducted yearly updates. Now, the site is extensive and robust – one that befits their status as a leading provider in their industry.


The Challenge: Visualizing a Highly Customizable Product

In 2022, Eastern Tabletop launched their most innovative product yet – The Hub Buffet System. Dubbed “the chameleon of the catering world”, The Hub offers endless configurations and options so that anyone in the hospitality industry – no matter their exact field or situation – can create the ideal buffet system to fit their needs. From hotels to hospitals, restaurants to resorts, bistros to ballparks – the hub can be the perfect solution for them all.

This was truly top-notch product: a fully-customizable buffet that can be anything you envision. The problem? Helping customers envision the outcome. With such a huge range of possibilities, they needed a way for their clients to visualize each option as they customized their order and view updates in realtime – to clearly see how the end result would look.
Eastern Tabletop needed a partner that would help them showcase the Hub’s versatility in a compelling way. A 3D virtual configurator would be the ideal solution – allowing customers to see the buffet from different angles and change its color, size, material, and configurations. It would make the buying experience more immersive and help customers envision the product in their own space.

Looking for a peer in foresight and creativity, they turned to Forwardslash.

Designing the Solution: Introducing the Hub Configurator

Our team rose to the challenge. Working closely with Eastern Tabletop, we gathered information about every Hub option, style, and add-on: the specs, material used, and any other relevant details. We then created scaled 3D renderings of every Hub style, including all configurations and options – down to the last ice bin or omelet station.

We then designed the user interface for the configurator, making sure that the layout, navigation, and controls were intuitive and user-friendly, allowing customers to easily experiment with the various options and discover configurations they may not have considered before. When the client is finished designing their Hub to perfection, they get a comprehensive printout with every detail of their order.

Results: More Engagement, Sales, and Happy Customers

Since implementing the Hub configurator on their website, Eastern Tabletop has seen a significant increase in customer engagement and sales – as a customer who can easily visualize their ideal end product is a customer who’s more likely to make a purchase. The configurator has also increased upselling opportunities by making it easy for customers to add additional features, upgrades, or accessories to their order.

Now, the Hub customization and order process is seamless and enjoyable, which means more customers sidling up the buffet – and coming back for seconds. It’s been such a success that now Eastern Tabletop are looking to create a similar experience for their popular ZOZZ product.

It’s been our privilege to cater to a leader of the catering world. Eastern Tabletop, here’s to many more years of innovation together!

Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.