The imperfect science and at times arduous journey of reaching amazing food… or Mars.
23 years ago this month NASA lost a spacecraft due to a unit conversion error. In September 1999 the Mars Climate Orbiter concluded its nearly 10 month journey to Mars by burning up, either in Mars’ atmosphere or in accidental orbit around the Sun. It was determined that this critical failure happened because of a conversion error between two software systems. So what does this have to do with sandwiches?
If you are a long-time Clover fan you know great sandwiches don’t just appear on our menu overnight. Testing and customer feedback are a huge part of what makes our food great. If you tried the new Green Fritter during its launch week you may have gotten a version that needed a little updating.
This sandwich was in testing at our Kendall restaurant for several weeks, during that time we worked on construction, measurements, and cook times. We tested balance of flavors, textures, and temperatures. Chris even developed an entirely new technique for achieving a uniform patty squish. We got this sandwich to a point where we were all excited to see it launch for the wider company.
So why the changes this week? Sometimes, as a recipe moves from ideation to development, and translation from to database, to second (and sometimes third) database, a 4 can become a 40, or a gram can get confused for an ounce. In the case of the herb salad on this sandwich, 40 grams of herb salad was never going to be the right amount and yet this spec weight snuck though and into our first round of sandwiches. Fortunately this mistake didn’t cost $125,000,000 but it may have cost you a great sandwich experience (almost worse). It was A LOT of herbs.
Last week Ayr, Chris, and I spent a morning tweaking the composition of this sandwich, bringing it back to where we liked it during its testing phase at Kendall. While the herb salad adjustment was a mathematical error, other changes were based on feedback we got from guests during this sandwich’s first week in the wild. Along with fixing the herb salad ratio, we increased the seasoning in the fritter, and we decreased the amount of beets. We then spent the rest of the day running around to the various Clover locations retraining our teams on what a great version of this sandwich looks and tastes like.
If you’ve had a version of this sandwich that you have loved, great! If you’ve had a version of this sandwich that you think could still use a little work please let us know; we are always working to ensure that our food is delicious and exciting.
Thank you for being part of our ongoing journey towards amazing food.