September 18, 2013

Granola with yogurt and fruit is now Yogurt with granola and fruit (let me explain…)

A few of you may already know this story. In the early days there was no breakfast. But I wondered what it would be like, and we were at the MIT truck every morning prepping food. We would prep on board the truck to save money because our commissary charged by the hour. I thought it would be great if customers could see the amazing things we were doing each morning with food, and opened the awning one day selling muffins, popovers and coffee.

We designed the breakfast menu to be something you could eat daily, because we thought it might be so good you’d want to eat it daily. So no scones, no greasy anything. Everything is carefully balanced to improve rather than challenge your health.

The granola was inspired by something I had in Miami a long time ago. It was a bowl of granola, with a bit of yogurt on top, and a bunch of fresh fruit. I’d never really eaten granola like that before and it stuck with me. So that’s where our Granola with yogurt and fruit came from.

But since day 1 we’ve been battling, and today I decided there are larger battles we should be fighting. What’s the battle? Many customers really want a parfait. What we sell is not a parfait. So when they order the granola with yogurt and fruit they think we got it wrong, or that it’s just not good, or that they don’t like our granola. I think we’ve converted a bunch of you, but in most cases it’s been a bit of a process. So let’s fix this one, meet expectations, and put our energy other places.

This whole thing sort of snapped for me when I was in Burlington this morning. A breakfast customer, first timer, was aghast at the amount of granola. She wanted much less. I know what she was thinking. Most granola has something like 20 grams of fat per 1/2 cup. (Ours doesn’t, it’s a really lean granola.) Anyway, I started to try to explain to her what amazing yogurt we source from Narraganset Creamery, how we’re about to upgrade to even a better yogurt from Sidehill Farms that I’ve been wanting to get in for 2 years but we only just now figured out the logistics. I started to talk about our granola recipe, which has maple syrup that gives it a special texture, and the sesame seeds that are subtle, but present.

She really wasn’t interested. She just wanted more yogurt, less granola, you know “like a parfait.”

So I re-developed this one on the spot with Michael Sutton, our manager at Burlington. John (Finance) says he’s pretty disappointed at this change, he’s come to love the way we do it. I know he thinks I’m a bit of a sell out. But I’m committed to breaking down some of the barriers that are in place for new first time customers. And I think this change will make a tangible difference.

What do the rest of you think? We’ll be rolling this out over the next few weeks, so don’t be surprised if your location hasn’t updated tomorrow morning, it’ll take a few days.

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