March 6, 2013

Be a part of Clover’s latest experiment

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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=”https://cloverfoodlab.wufoo.com/forms/clover-office-experiment/” 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)

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