The Great Clover Media Lab Experiment of 2010

By ayr May 14, 2010

Starting Monday (5/17) we’re launching a new experiment. The folks at the Media Lab have approached us about finding a way to feed the building. There are 3 obstacles to a cafe:

(1) The cafe is on the 5th floor, ensuring nobody from outside of the building would be eating there

(2) When fully occupied (which probably only happens at 2am) the lab houses 300 people, not enough to support our prices

(3) There is no kitchen facility

So we put our thinking caps on and came up with a few ideas. We’re going to test one next week. Here’s what we’re going to do:

– Just made Clover sandwiches, drinks, and some other fun stuff will be available at 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm each day next week

– Food will be priced same as the truck

– First come first served

Read on for more…

So we’re seeing if we can create a “pop-up” cafe. The idea is that while the population density is too low to support a restaurant for 12 hours a day, it may be adequate for a restaurant that functions for 5 minutes every hour. And if it works, we’re going to be exceeding the original goals of brining food into the space. Because what everyone wants (beyond eating) is community interaction. And having everybody come out at 4pm facilitates that much better than a trickle between 4pm and 5pm. It’s a high density solution for a low density area.

We’ll see what happens. May be a failure. The biggest question in my mind is whether folks will be able to adjust to the “on-the-hour” habit required to make this work. If we sell out the first day we will bring more the second day, and so on. And if next week is a success (meaning we don’t lose a lot of money) we’ll move to a more complete schedule (say on the hour every hour from 2pm through 8pm, 5 days a week).

We’re really excited about this.

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