October 29, 2018

10th Birthday – oh wow

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I’m not too proud to admit I feel burnt. It feels sort of like post-exams from when I was in school, sort of like post-race or game. Physical and mental. And I think everybody who worked at Clover today is feeling this way. But I’m the one responsible for what was a pretty rough day.

A few months ago we had this idea that we’d roll prices back for our birthday. I remember the meeting with Lucia and Jenny and Jane. It seemed so innocent. It was totally well intended! We thought: let’s run all of the discounts through the Clover App. That will help alleviate some of the stress from our restaurants. It was well intended…

This morning I put on the pristine year 1 T-shirt I’ve been saving for years. I washed it with a little bit of bleach last night and it looks brand new. I stopped by CloverHFI to say happy birthday to the staff there. I hopped the red line to CloverKND and said hi there. Neither was busy. I was thinking maybe we threw a party and nobody comes…

I found my way to CloverDTX, Jane who is now doing marketing for Clover started by Clover Guiding at that restaurant. She had Brought everybody birthday hats, little paper ones to wear. I was wishing I’d had that idea. Happy birthday CloverDTX!!

I walked over to CloverFIN where I was going to help out today. By the time I got there breakfast was already cranking. Nate who runs Finance for Clover was there and I joined him. Food was tight. Staff were great. We used the new expedite system Ethan’s been working on. It was heavy volume but we had it under control. It felt busy but tight. Really nice. Like “high five!” Like that.

I took a quick hour 10-11am to get some emails cranked out and to work on a model for a new Clover meal subscription idea I’ve been toying with.

11am hit, and tickets started printing. One… a break… another… shorter break… another… then back to back

We’d done a bunch of “red team” meetings to try to figure out what could go wrong. Ethan built new limits into the POS to manage the orders coming in. We had everything staffed. All of the printers in place. Extra printer tape, bags, etc. We thought we had everything figured out.

Then orders came a little faster than the limit, not sure why yet. Then we found the average number of items per order higher than normal. Then we realized most of those add ons were fries… that jams stuff up. More orders. More orders. The printer started printing “ghost” tickets of customers who had already gotten their food. We had nearly 400 items to make in our kitchen in 1 hour. That’s nuts. Totally nuts. Everything imploded. I realized we had 150 people in our restaurant and we weren’t going to be able to get them all their food. Orders kept popping out of the printer.

Staff were amazing. Customers were amazing. You all are so great. So many Happy Birthdays!

But man. I’m the one responsible for all of this at the end of the day. And it’s a disaster… our systems were totally overwhelmed by the demand. We broke. And I knew it was happening at other restaurants.

To my staff: I’m sorry all. You put so much into Clover. I didn’t mean to make this day so hard. Thank you for your work and positivity!

To my customers who had a frustrating experience: If you waited a long long time, or didn’t get the item you wanted, or your food wasn’t what you expect from us, I’m so sorry. It was such an innocent idea! We meant well. Hope you all can recognize today for what it was. We fell down. And I hope you’re willing to forgive us.

To my customers who had a great experience today: Yeah!!!! Thank you and congrats for timing it just right/ being lucky.

Love to you all. I need to sleep a bunch of hours. Sort of feels like that first day 10 years ago. Happy Birthday Clover!!!

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