Holiday Hours at Clover

When can you find Clover this holiday season?

HSQ 12/24 HALF DAY, 25TH CLOSED, 31st CLOSE AT 8PM, 1st OPEN, 2nd OPEN

KND 12/24 HALF DAY, 25TH CLOSED, 31st CLOSE AT 8PM, 1st OPEN, 2nd OPEN
HUB 12/24 HALF DAY, 25TH CLOSED, 31st CLOSE AT 8PM, 1st OPEN, 2nd OPEN


MIT OPEN 12/22 and 12/23 (free sweet potato latkes for all who come and find the truck during these pre-holiday days!), CLOSED 12/24-1/5
DWY OPEN 12/22 and 12/23, CLOSED 12/24-1/5
LMA OPEN 12/22 and 12/23, CLOSED 12/24-1/5


Everybody gets a raise


I just posted on our pay increases for entry level employees. Those have been in place for a couple of months. Starting 2015 we’re going to be putting in place a new compensation package for our restaurant managers and assistant managers as well. 2015 is going to be a good year to work at Clover. We’re going to be paying significantly more than we’ve ever been able to in the past. If you’re not interested in this stuff skip this post. If you work at Clover or are thinking about joining our team you’re going to want to pay close attention. This is what you will get paid to change the world in 2015.


We’re breaking restaurants into tiers based on sales volumes. Base pay will be set by tier. Managers will then receive a quarterly bonus based on their year over year sales increase for that quarter. And on top of the quarterly bonus there will be an end of year bonus based on performance. The end of year bonus potential will grow the longer you’ve been at Clover. Here’s an outline of the structure:

Tier 1 up to $500,000 sales $40,000/ yr
Tier 2 $500,001 to 1,000,000 sales $45,000/ yr
Tier 3 $1,000,001 to $1,500,000 sales $55,000/ yr
Tier 4 $1,500,001 to $2,500,000 sales $65,000/ yr
Tier 5 Above $2,500,000 sales $75,000/ yr


Ramping restaurant (first 3 years): equal to year over year sales increase
e.g., 18% year over year growth will result in 18% bonus for quarter


Ramped restaurant (older than 3 years): equal to 160% of year over year sales increase
e.g., 10% year over year growth will result in 16% bonus for quarter

Bonus is calculated as a percentage of the pay for the quarter in question.
For new restaurants without previous year sales, budget numbers will be used.


First year as a Clover manager Bonus potential 10%
Second year as Clover manager Bonus potential 15%
Third year as Clover manager Bonus potential 20%
Fourth year as Clover manager Bonus potential 25%
Fifth year as Clover manager Bonus potential 30%



So if you’re running a restaurant at Clover in 2015 that had 2014 total sales of $800,000, and you generate 2015 sales in the first quarter that are 18% higher than the previous year, you would be earning:

Tier 2 Base Salary of $45,000 + Quarterly bonus 18% of your base for that quarter (18% x 45,000/4 = $2,025). At the end of the year if you continue to perform at that level (18%) for the entire year, your total comp would be your base ($45,000) + your quarterly bonuses ($45,000 x 18% = $8,100) + your end of year bonus, which could be as high as 10% your first year as a manager at Clover ($45,000 x 10% = $4,500) up to 30% in your 5th year as a manager at Clover ($45,000 x 30% = $13,500).

Your total compensation for 2015 in this scenario would be $57,600 (if you were a first year manager at Clover) up to $66,600 (if you were a 5+ year manager at Clover). In 2014 the compensation for this same manager with the same performance would have been $47,250 – 51,750. This represents a 22% increase on the low end of the range, and a 29% increase on the high end of the range.

It takes some math to unpack, but compared to other compensation programs I’ve looked at this is something super transparent. And if you take the time to do the math you can see why I’m so excited. I’m going to get to pay some of my managers 20-30% more next year! That’s amazing.


$10 is the new minimum


Nobody at Clover makes less than $10/ hour now.

We made this change a few months ago, quietly.

It’s really amazing we’ve been able to raise wages every year since we opened. I hope we can keep that up.

We’re able to do this because of the great work everybody has been doing, and because of our customers who seem to love us despite our failures and keep coming more and more often and bringing more and more friends.

Wage rates are a big topic of conversation right now. It’s a massive challenge, we’d love to pay our employees $20/ hour, but we know you don’t want to pay huge prices for your daily lunch. So we work hard on technology that can support efficiency, driving the most sales we can with every employee working, and investing in training and management to get the most out of the talent we’re lucky to have.

Lucia shared this article the other day that puts this all into perspective: 10 Best Paying Jobs in Fast Foods [Business Insider]. Check out In N Out at the top of the list. They’re still our heroes. Those guys are just amazing. Note that our lowest pay is $10. Our average for this coming year is projected to be something well north of $11/ hr for hourly employees.

We hope the increases help our employees and help us reach new employees. And we hope the higher pay will make each bite taste that much better to customers who know the food is coming from a company that wants to pay employees as much as possible.


Speedwell Coffee: Kenya AA Rugeju


We’ve got a new coffee in from Derek at Speedwell. This coffee is a Kenyan coffee, the result of 400 small farmers with around 200 trees each, bringing their coffee to a single milling station.

We’ll be pouring this for the next few weeks, and we’ve got retail bags too.


Blue Bottle Coffee: Mexico Chiapas Triunfo


When I first started learning about coffee, Ayr told me about Blue Bottle, a roaster he had visited in San Francisco, and one of the first to popularize pour over coffee. He showed me a video of Blue Bottle making pour over, I think at the ferry building. They used tons of coffee, added hot water, and stirred it up in the filter as it dripped down.

Since then, they’ve expanded more of their operations to the East Coast, and they now roast in New York. Ayr and Chris visited the roastery last month. We visit any roaster we serve, so we couldn’t bring Blue Bottle on without a visit.

They’ll be posting more on their visit soon, but you can taste Blue Bottle at all Clover locations starting now. We picked a Mexican coffee that was grown in a UNESCO-designated biosphere, which means it’s been recognized for sustainable environmental and community development.


Free food at CloverDWY in honor of…me?


Lucia here. I was selected as one of Zagat Boston’s 30 under 30. It’s a real honor! My sister was also selected, which made it even more special, as was Thomas from East by Northeast, one of my favorite restaurants in town.

The Zagat folks in NYC said they’d sponsor a freebee, anything we wanted for our customers.

So come to CloverDWY tomorrow, say the passcode “Lucia loves Brussels,” (if you want to know why, simply type my name into the search bar of this site) and your meal (sandwich, side, and drink) is FREE! This is valid for the first 100 customers in line starting at 11am.

(Photo courtesy of Zagat, I forgot to get someone to take a pic. Also, Katrina and I barely made it to this picture because we were both waylaid at the oyster bar).


Clover leadership tour of Barismo


Historically trips like this have been haphazard. We have really amazing suppliers, and we’re really curious people. And most of what we buy is made at a place that is drivable. So we spend a lot of time visiting suppliers.

Lucia and Megan were thinking that we should start formalizing these supplier visits and create educational opportunities for our leaders and team members. I think it’s a great idea. So we did a tour and cupping with Barismo to kick things off. It was a cold night and we packed 18 or so people in Barismo’s roasting facility on Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington. Many of those managers had been working since 5am but you wouldn’t know it. Everybody was rapt. Well, maybe the caffeine helped a little. For many it was the first time they’ve done a formal coffee cupping.

Really fun time. Thanks so much to everybody at Barismo for supporting events like this!


Thick cut potato chips


I don’t know why I’ve never had this before. Have you ever seen or had these? Thick cut potato chips. Really thick, 1/8th inch? Maybe 1/16th? I’d say they’re about as thick as 4 Lays chips stacked on top of one another. I have to say I’ve never eaten chips like these anywhere. Almost as thick as banana chips, but not quite.

We’re working with Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Club on some really fun collaborations that we’ll reveal more about soon. Chris was playing with ideas and tried frying potato chips with really thick cut potatoes. They’re awesome. Cooked low and slow they’re super crunchy and satisfying. Not for eating by the bag. More like a couple at a sitting. And of course he brought the sour cream for dips. If you know Chris you know sour cream.

Chris championed these at the food dev meeting and we’re all anxiously awaiting their appearance.

What will you champion at a Clover food dev meeting? Everybody is invited. We love to taste delicious things. If we like what you bring it will end up on the menu.

Clover Food Dev – Open to all

Tuesdays 3pm – 4pm

1075 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA


I want my husband to say “my wife cut that tree down”


That’s Megan. She directs our HR and along with the rest of the leadership team she was out cutting enormous trees this past Thursday. One of my neighbors runs a Christmas Tree farm, so this year we got to cut trees that were only 12 miles away from our restaurants. We always cut large trees, Harvard Square takes one almost 20 feet tall. And my neighbors had some huge overgrown trees they wanted cut down.

In the past we’ve used buckets imbedded in pallets (I think you can see in a post from 3 or 4 years back). But now we have these really beefy metal stands. The whole operation has become almost slick. We know a lot more than we used to. But we’re still learning. I learned this time how to cut a really big tree using a notch on the first side, then a line angling down the to notch.

Megan wanted to do one all by herself. She wouldn’t let us help. Said she wanted that tree to be in Kendall and wanted her husband to say “my wife cut this tree down.”

Turns out Megan’s tree was huge. So it ended up at Harvard Square. Kendall has a smaller one. But Enzo, who runs Kendall and is Megan’s husband, can tell everybody that his wife cut down a tree even larger : )

You’ll find the trees at Clover HUB, HSQ and KND. They are all there now. And you might see me underneath. I’ve been working to get the trains running. Happy Holidays!


DWR + Clover


I’ve always loved Design Within Reach. I’ve never been able to afford anything they sell, but I love looking through their catalog of furniture and lighting etc.

So we were super excited when DWR invited us to cater their launch of a new Boston Area flagship store. It’s where Crate and Barrel furniture used to be, on Mass Ave. We had a great time. And I got to meet the CEO of DWR which has recently been purchased by Herman Miller, which must be great for them both. We served from our truck, and had appetizers and drinks inside.

If you have a party you would like to bring Clover to let us know through the Catering Link. This was Paul’s first event as Catering Coordinator and he did an amazing job. We love working with organizations and people we admire and work with customers to make sure the menu and service matches up with what they are trying to achieve at their event.