July 5, 2013

Opening day craziness

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We did it. We opened 2 restaurants in 1 week. And while there are many details we’re working on daily, Brookline Village (BLV) and Burlington (BUR) are alive and running. It feels great. Everybody has been working so hard, and in a really wonderful cooperative supportive way. I’m really proud to be a part of this organization.

So now I’m finally catching up. Here’s a picture of the opening day at Brookline. Part of the reason, OK all of the reason, that line is so long is that we were giving sandwiches away for free. This is something others do but we’d never tried ourselves. In the past when we’ve opened new locations we’ve relied on staff from existing units. But in the case of Brookline and Burlington, we’re having to rely more on brand new folks, primarily because of the locations being not on the redline (MIT, DWY, PRK, GOV sort-of, HSQ, etc.). So we thought a free sandwich day would be a low risk way of getting staff trained.

It worked pretty well. As you can see, people love free food. I think we’ll make some changes for future years. I was planning on running this for an entire day, but we didn’t pack enough food. And to be honest, it’s really exhausting to serve at this pace (250+ / hour) for much time. Going forward I think we’ll cap it to 500 free sandwiches.

On both projects we cut it too tight. I don’t know how to avoid that. But the contractors hadn’t finished some key items, even though both opening dates were pushed back due to construction delays. Don’t know what to do with this, but it really was a terrible way to get started this time around. Burlington did not have working air conditioning for example. Brookline Village didn’t have shelving installed and some other stuff.

But everybody pitched in and I think these both went pretty well. Now we’re on to the real crowds, which, while not quite the size of this line, are growing quickly. Thanks all for checking us out and supporting us!

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