Creating a 'sense of place' at One18 Empire restaurant through virtual tours

Going out to eat is about more than just savoring a delicious meal. It's an experience. The team at Senserie Digital Marketing understands that and applies this belief to the hospitality industry. One18 Empire restaurant in Calgary, Canada, is among the businesses for which Senserie provides virtual tours.

The team at Senserie believes in creating a "sense of place" in the venues they capture. This ensures that diners at One18 Empire are enjoying more than just good food and drinks — they're forming an emotional connection with the restaurant and its staff, and creating long-lasting memories.

To learn more about Senserie's work with One18 Empire, as well as how it discovered Matterport, we sat down with Senserie Digital Marketing Founder Kyle Hall.

What inspired the 3D capture of this space?

Prior to the pandemic, my business partner and I worked in high-level positions in the hotel world, specializing in food and beverage concepts, training, and activation. Making an emotional connection with guests should be at the heart of what a good food and beverage experience delivers. We achieve this in a couple of ways. First — staff engagement with the guests, having them well trained to perform their job professionally allowing their personality to shine through. Second — storytelling through well-thought-out specialized food and beverage activations and concepts.

We discovered Matterport technology while in that role and saw huge potential, not only in the visual aspect of showing a restaurant or hotel in its true unaltered form but also in the ability to share storytelling and staff personalities via embedded content experiences placed inside a virtual tour. 

Once the pandemic changed everything, my business partner and I decided to go all in on bringing our concept to life. Our mission at Senserie Virtual Media is simple: to replicate the ‘sense of place’ at the venues we capture. We specialize in hospitality venues enabling us to truly add value, bringing our past experience to the table. We are a hospitality company first and digital innovators second. 

This tour represents the restaurant One18 Empire in Calgary, Canada. The restaurant is inside the Marriott Downtown Calgary Hotel and is a wonderful example of a restaurant that has a strong identity. One18 Empire is famous for its hundreds of rare whiskies and its notorious Old Fashioned Cocktail concept. At Senserie, we were able to learn about the restaurant and what makes it special. Using our background in hospitality, we were able to not only provide direction on creating a virtual tour, but share ideas on how to bring it to life, showcasing their staff, and their food and beverage activations. We tried to capture these moments and embed them in the virtual tour for all to see. 

What are the “must-sees” you want visitors to explore and why?

When exploring this tour, we think people should take note of the wooden decor and the copper still accents over the main dining table. They are subtle touches to the embodiment of all things whisk(e)y. As a small restaurant, we encourage people to watch the videos embedded throughout. This is where you can truly get a sense of what is on offer, and the friendly personalities that are there to ensure their guests have a wonderful experience.

What’s the one thing you want visitors to take away after exploring your 3D tour?

Ideally, we want you to take away a couple of things. First, a better understanding and knowledge of the offering of the restaurant. Second, a feeling of familiarity with the restaurant and some of the people who are there to serve you. And third, a feeling of "We must go visit to try the famous old-fashioned cocktail!"

What are the benefits of Matterport digital twins?

There is so much potential with the digital twins. But ultimately, to showcase your space, which as an operator you are undoubtedly proud of, to people who have not seen it yet. Yes, it's a marketing tool, but if you can make the virtual tour an experience that people enjoy, that is only going to entice guests to come, where the actual experience will be something to cherish. 

Do you have any plans to capture more 3D experiences?

Yes, we have multiple hospitality venues in the pipeline. We honestly see the captured piece of space as the foundation of what is possible. Then, using the different features, it is all about the personal experiences we can layer into it. That's what makes them fun. Each one has a different story to showcase.


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