Can CloverHSQ wait times survive the class of 2019?

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CloverHSQ has never been more popular. I’m not bragging, it’s just fact. It’s due to a lot of things, some amazing food and amazing leadership by Lynn, the manager there. I was taking orders and I could feel the excitement in line. Freshman advisors were bringing in their advisees for iced coffee, sharing this place that they had discovered as freshmen. Kids were bringing their parents after they got moved into their new houses. Students were telling me “this is my one year anniversary of eating here.”

I got a note from a customer at HSQ yesterday. It was wonderful to hear from folks like Jared who care enough about us to write.

I come to Clover 2x a day (at least 20$). I realize that summer is over and the students are back …but I basically stopped coming because I can’t even get in the door. Its great that demand is so high but sad when you can’t get the food without 30mins or 45 standing in line. I’m sure you’re aware of it but want you to know that if you stand at the front door near lunch half the people see the line – can’t even get inside – and leave. Thanks

We’re going to work super hard on killing that line over the next 4 days. I’m serious – we’re committed to super low wait times even now that students are back. Lynn, who manages CloverHSQ, has been adding order-takers during lunch (I think today we’ll be up to 4 order-takers), and she’s working on staffing up her sandwich-makers and prep cooks – so that once you do get in line, we should be able to get to you pretty fast.

Ethan, our systems engineer, just added real-time wait times to our POS, which means we have real data and not just intuition to work from. You might remember this is version 2 of something we started back in 2009. The new calculation takes the average of 3 past orders of any given item, calculates our wait times, and projects it next to the item on the menu board. So you should be able to see how long you’ll likely wait for each item before you make your decision.

I took a look at our stats from yesterday at HSQ. At our peak (12pm yesterday) the average wait time after placing your order was 10.3 minutes. But at 1pm, the wait was only 6.7 minutes. And if you can swing an early lunch, the wait time at 11am is likely to only be 3.8 minutes.

 

 

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Men in Black Movie Night: 9/9 at CloverDWY

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That’s right, aliens are everywhere on the planet earth and we’re going to have to eat them before they eat us!

Grab your new friends from school, or your old friends from summer, and join us for the 4th annual lo-fi movie night at the Clover truck on Wednesday 9/9 at sundown. We’re showing Men In Black on the side of our food truck on the grass of the Rose Kennedy Greenway, right outside South Station.

Choose your meal (we’re making chickpea fritters, heirloom tomato sandwiches, summer corn salad, french fries, and Tosci’s ice cream) and we’ll have it boxed up and ready for you when you arrive. Hot drinks will be available for purchase from the truck, and there is a rumor of heirloom popcorn from Vermont.

Tickets are on sale online (click here) and at are also available to purchase at the Dewey truck.

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Watermelon

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Watermelon is here from Western Mass and it’s everywhere. Watermelon Fruit Salad, Watermelon Agua Fresca, Watermelon Soda, and Watermelon 3pm special.

Edit 8/30: local watermelon is done. Hope you all enjoyed the season!

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Flowers grown next to your tomatoes

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We rented out our restaurant for a Yo Yo Ma event last year, and the event organizers brought flowers in. They looked so great in the restaurant. We thought fresh flowers could be really great. But we didn’t want to ship in flowers from some other part of the world. Then we found out Stone Soup Farm was growing flowers. Stone Soup is a farm we’ve been working with for CSA deliveries, and this year they are also supplying us with heirloom tomatoes.

We’re testing fresh flowers out at CloverHSQ. What do you think?

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Birth of the Fry-Speditor

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Judy was presenting her assistant manager project to the group the other day. Her project was to design a chart that managers can use to assign roles to each employee during a shift. See that acronym FRY-SPD? The fry-speditor is a new position that Enzo coined. He’s pretty good at creating new words.

The fryer at Kendall is so busy now that one person cannot man it alone during a rush.

So now the fry-guy or girl gets their own fry-speditor. An expeditor who transfers fried items to stations or hands them out to customers.

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Fruit Salad rapid change

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If you’ve stopped by in the morning, you might have seen us cutting up fruit salad. Last week we launched a peach, cantaloupe, shiso, honey, and lemon version, which has proved popular. 

But we didn’t want the summer to pass without including watermelon in the fruit salad.

On Tuesday at Food Dev, Chris made two for us to try. The clear winner was this watermelon-cantaloupe, corn, Aleppo pepper, lime salad. You’ll see this hitting the menu today or tomorrow. Let us know what you think!

 

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Newbury Hiring headquarters

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Megan has been leading up our hiring. She’s been doing a killer job.  That’s Michael Fitzhenry (who started what was once my favorite cafe in Boston: Mike and Patty’s). He is going to run Clover Newbury Street. It’s going to be the city’s first electric food truck, parked for many hours a day, on Newbury Street and Mass Ave in Boston. We are thinking it’ll be a new test kitchen location for the rest of Clover. Customers there will get to try Michael’s creations before the rest of Clover does.

While we finish up all the construction details with the city, we are focusing on hiring and training a team. So Mike’s been doing interviews and using CloverLMA as a place to train his new hires.

Think you might have what it takes? Or know someone who does? Fill out an application, select Newbury Street as your desired location, and we’ll call you back within 48 hours.

 

 

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“How could they do this to me?”

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We’ve been hearing this, or some version of this, a lot over the past few days. Sorry everyone. The Blue Oyster Mushroom Sandwich is leaving to make way for the Heirloom Tomato. And Nancy (I think I got your name right?) was almost in tears when she came to HSQ this evening. I felt so bad for her that I bought her a zucchini sandwich.

Even as we mourn the loss of the Blue Oyster, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

1. We’re thinking one day will dedicate a permanent slot to a mushroom sandwich on the menu, if we can work out a sourcing arrangement with Rhode Island Mushroom Co. What do you think?

2. Rhode Island Mushroom Co. has agreed to do a 12-week fall/winter Mushroom CSA for Clover customers. Get a different mushroom each week. Maybe you’ll come up with the next blockbuster mushroom sandwich.

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August 2015 Survey

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That’s Hannah. She eats with us every day for breakfast at Harvard Square, and she kept giving the order takers ideas for new Clover items. They encouraged her to come to Food Dev and next week she’s going to bring us some food to try. You can help us too.

If an order-taker handed you a survey card today at a Clover location, here’s the link to take the survey.

A huge thanks in advance for helping build a better Clover.

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