As an organization committed to international growth, TableCheck was looking for a CMS that could produce the global English page that supported their ambitions. This desire led them to switch over to Storyblok for a more productive experience. We sat down with a few members of the team – Front-end Engineering Manager Joan Mira, Front-end Engineer Wahid Farid, Senior Content Manager Tuesday Gutierrez and Eri Koyano, Product Manager – to learn more about their transition.

An introduction to TableCheck

TableCheck is an organization that deploys a team of about 120 international employees from about a dozen different locations: Japan, Australia, the Philippines, Egypt, and South Korea just to name a few. This team strives to appeal to businesses across the restaurant industry. While many of their opportunities focus on B2B operations, they also work with a few public-facing reservation apps as well.

From hotel brands like Hyatt to Michelin star restaurants, Japan-based TableCheck is there to act as a fully integrated booking system and guest experience platform across the world serving more than 7,000 clients worldwide – and they have no plans to slow their international growth.

Quote from Joan Mira, Front-end Engineering Manager

  • “Eventually, we want to expand to the whole world. One of the reasons that we wanted to use Storyblok is because it will allow us to localize content in all these regions, and it’s a very flexible system so we can create the building blocks that these regions can use to create the content.”

    Joan Mira

    Front-end Engineering Manager
    Joan Mira

Challenges needed to change

With such an ambitious growth plan, the TableCheck team knew that their old system wasn’t going to be able to support them. A huge reason for this was an inefficient editing approach. All site changes had to be handled by developers who understood the Ruby on the Rails framework.

Combined with the fact that they already had employees using React on the front end, the result was a bottleneck. Developers found themselves having to do extra work whenever a change was needed. By the same token, content editors couldn’t easily use the setup at all: they were severely limited by the need to constantly request changes from those developers.

With TableCheck looking to expand their presence in other markets, localization and the ability to incorporate other languages was very important. However, it was difficult for them to find an option that offered this functionality in an easy-to-use way that wasn’t also an upcharge from the base price.

Quote from Wahid Farid, Front-end Engineer

  • “Storyblok aided us in facilitating editing meta and SEO information, that reached our markets.”

    Wahid Farid

    Front-end Engineer
    Wahid Farid

Finding Storyblok

While searching for a solution, TableCheck ran into even more roadblocks. They found options that were expensive, inflexible, and difficult to understand – the same issues they were trying to correct in the first place.

Table check website

Quote from Simeon Cheeseman, Principal Engineer

  • “Only Storyblok had good, full-featured support.”

    Simeon Cheeseman

    Principal Engineer
    Simeon Cheeseman

After more research via search engines, TableCheck found Storyblok. Whether it was a lack of integration with tools they already used or stiff, unchanging layouts, Storyblok emerged as the only option offering everything they needed. After the final decision from the tech lead, CTO and TableCheck co-founder John Shields, the team decided to make the switch. The change proved to be a welcome solution.

One big part of this was the flexibility of creating and editing layouts. TableCheck didn’t want to have to rely on developers to create these vital tools. Storyblok helped to put the power back into the content creators’ hands.

Quote from Eri Koyano, Product Manager

  • “That’s the definitive differentiating factor from other CMSs. In many other CMSs, developers create templates, and those remain pretty much fixed. Others allow you to customize, but it feels like hacking, and I can’t imagine that the code it produces will be very clean.”

    Eri Koyano

    Product Manager
    Eri Koyano

With a visual editor that could track live changes, a lot of the editing struggles were solved. Employees could easily configure components and understand what they would look like before publishing. Localization was also a powerful native feature, doing away with the need to bend over backward or overpay for that functionality.

Quote from Tuesday Gutierrez, Senior Content Manager

  • “The good thing about Storyblok is that I can also think of the layout when writing an article. As a content producer; I can think about the visual side and also the technical side.”

    Tuesday Gutierrez

    Senior Content Manager
    Tuesday Gutierrez

Settling into a better system

With Storyblok, TableCheck now has a better website CMS platform to achieve its mission of empowering worldwide hospitality. They use Storyblok to power their marketing website for both Japanese and global audiences. Roughly ten employees ranging from developers to content producers interact with Storyblok to make this a reality over the course of 4 months.

They’ve also found other benefits to be happy about. For example, the simple universal editing helped contribute to polished professional branding. The in-engine image resizing also proved to be useful.

The content creation team found a lot of value using a CMS like Storyblok. Without having to rely on developers to update and build pages, they were free to take full control over their work and leverage Storyblok to its full potential.

Quote from Eri Koyano, Product Manager

  • “By understanding the structure of the website through blocks on Storyblok, the technical and non-technical teams were able to communicate efficiently. Being able to work cross-functionally improved our productivity, where we saved on time and resources.”

    Eri Koyano

    Product Manager
    Eri Koyano

Key takeaways

A tool’s ease of use should never be underestimated. As TableCheck embraced Storyblok, they found themselves able to create great content without getting bogged down by clunky code or a complicated interface. Now they’re confident that they will be able to fulfill their goal of internationalization using a CMS like Storyblok.