March 6, 2013

Be a part of Clover’s latest experiment


Ayr Taking orders outside

You can participate in a new experiment we’re running with the help of a Harvard Business School student.

I had to dig up this goofy picture to make a point. Please bear with me.

This picture is from 2010. Our MIT truck had been moved due to construction. It turned out to be the first of 5 moves that had us going up and down the block for nearly a year.

Our breakfast sales were near zero because nobody saw us in our normal spot when they looked down the street and figured we were closed. This is something that is very different for trucks vs. restaurants. So I stood outside near an A-frame looking goofy and took orders. It worked pretty well. I got some strange looks of suspicion (“You want me to give you my money and you’re telling me my food will be ready around the corner? Yeah right…”). But by this point a lot of our customers knew me pretty well and trusted I wasn’t playing a con.

Anyway, this slightly successful experiment got me thinking of bigger things. What if a Clover order taker showed up in your office. Yeah. It’s lunch time. You get a call on the intercom that Clover is in the building, and an order taker is right there in your office lobby, iPod in hand, ready to take orders. We would then send the orders out by a runner.

When I worked in offices I rarely got my order in with the person at the front desk before lunch. That meant when it was busy I’d find myself falling back to a convenient if not satisfying lunch solution. The idea here is that you can procrastinate as much as you want. You don’t even have to leave your building. We’ll show up the same time every day of the week (e.g., 11:45am) ready to take your order. Then we’ll deliver the food to you and your colleagues.

OK, so that’s the pitch. Will it work? You can be part of that answer. With the help of an HBS student who is doing an Independent Study we are launching a trial version of this program. You can sign your office up. You can give us feedback. Eat some great Clover food. And who knows, maybe you’ll come up with a name for this thing that will stick. I’m a bit lost on that front.

We’re targetting offices that have a minimum of 15 people who might (no obligation) eat with us. More is better. And we’re focusing on offices within a 10 minute walking radius of our truck at Dewey Square. Tell your friends! Thanks all.

[button link=”” bg_color=”#1972e0″]SIGN UP FOR OUR OFFICE EXPERIMENT[/button]

(Oh, that featured image in the slideshow? I didn’t think you’d all click through to this story by looking at this picture of me standing outside, so I featured a picture of our “Order Taker Royale” at Harvard Square, Antoria)

Recent Posts

January 26, 2023
The Pizza Friday Box gave us an idea: calzones! Ayr has been making these at his house and texting us photos. They’re big and saucy and so good. Basically a stuffed pizza/turnover situation with origins in 17th century Naples.
January 13, 2023
Thanks all who joined for the first public food dev meeting after Covid. Phil did a great job pulling it all together. If you’re a customer, farmer, vendor (or Clover staff member) reading this, you are invited to Food Dev! These happen Thursday afternoons at the HUB and they’re where all new food ideas are born. Just make sure to sign up – spots are limited.
January 5, 2023
House-made carrot lox, hearty vegetable stews with bread and pickles, Tunisian breakfast bowls, a pizza party kit, and a dream of snow, all in one box. Our Snowed In Box is back. This was Greg’s idea back in 2020. He thought it would be cool to make a box that was equally whether eaten after snowboarding or cozied up on the couch watching a movie.
December 21, 2022
We’ve been getting a lot of requests for the ability to gift a friend Clover Meal Boxes. After a lot of late night tech sessions, we have a way to do this! Yay! I’ve been looking and seeing a few of you have started to discover this feature and are starting to gift away. So cool to see.
December 16, 2022
If you’re a weekly meal box subscriber, you may have noticed way fewer plastic containers in your deliveries recently.When we started the program, we were in the pandemic, new to this whole home delivery thing, and a big concern was making sure that nothing spilled inside the boxes. So we relied on post-consumer recycled containers (aka plastic deli containers) for a lot of the items.
December 13, 2022
We’ve been getting back into the merch game. First up: squash shirts. I thought it would be fun to celebrate the diversity of the squash world. Although butternut is probably the squash you see most in the grocery store, there are actually over 100 types of squash, all with their own patterns, colors, and textures.
December 6, 2022
The Bridgewater is back!! This is probably the most requested sandwich on our menu. Michelle who runs our social media says she reliably gets one message per week asking when it will return. In 2015, Paul and Bryan came up with this sandwich as an homage to the jalapeño poppers at The Charlie Horse, a now-closed tavern in their hometown of Bridgewater, MA.
December 6, 2022
I love the holidays. I love the lights, I love the traditions, I love ornaments and pine needles all over the floor.  I love the movies (“Muppet Christmas Carol”) and the books (“A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”) I love the good songs, I love the schlocky songs (if you’ve never heard “Suzy Snowflake” or “Dominic the Donkey”, stop reading right now and click through.)
December 1, 2022
It was inevitable. Our meal box program had to find its way into restaurants at some point. A bunch of you have been asking if we can sell “on demand” meal boxes in our restaurants – for those times when you have last-minute dinner guests or forgot to subscribe by the deadline. So we’ve been easing into the process of combining one part of Clover with another.
November 28, 2022
Brussels Sprouts are extra sweet this time of year, and King Brussels, in his infinite wisdom, has cooked up a Brussels Week in our meal boxes. Every single subscription box will contain a recipe inspired by brussels! This is the first time we’ve explored a seasonal theme across our entire lineup and we’re excited to dive in.
November 19, 2022
This was Jane’s last week at Clover. We’re wishing her the best in her next steps (but also not so secretly hoping she comes back!)
November 11, 2022
Have you ordered your Thanksgiving Box yet? It’s already 50% sold out, so get your orders in this weekend if you can. This box comes with everything from stuffing to porcini-thyme gravy to mashed PEI potatoes to local cranberry sauce to bread to make leftover sandwiches. Most of the items can go from box to oven to table with very minimal prep, and we’ve made multiple sizes whether you’re dining solo or with a crowd.