August 14, 2019

Death to sealed drinks?

I think we are going to kill the sealed drinks idea.

As you know we make all our own drinks in house. 100 percent of them. As more customers have been taking their food to-go, we started experimenting with bottling them and keeping them in fridges. A year ago, we got pretty disturbed by the amount of packaging we were generating by using hard plastic bottles.

We thought of the tradition of sealed cups (we first saw these at the amazing Xian Famous Foods in NYC.). We figured that by making drinks at the commissary, sealing them, and shipping them to locations, we could cut down on packaging (these sealed lids are sleek), cut down on labor at the restaurants, make sure the recipes were made consistently, and maybe even make the drinks seem more appealing by showing off their bright colors. A ton of work on Chris’ part, and we had a sealer at the commissary, and special compostable straws to stab the sealed lid with, and we started testing these at FIN and KND.

We took a look at the data, and it looks like the sealed drinks failed on all fronts. We’ve been talking about returning to making all drinks in the restaurant and serving them to order. It could be better from a staff perspective (we make our drinks here in the restaurant from raw ingredients, instead of them being shipped in each day.)

It’s exhausting to think about this as a failure. A lot of hard work went into it. I still think the sealed ones are pretty beautiful. If you’re a fan, speak now or forever hold your peace.

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