May 31, 2016

Phase 3


Clover is now 6 months into our multi-year effort to adjust pay rates. I started planning this back in November 2015. Low wages in our industry results in lack of stability in the workforce. I’m sick of it. I don’t think it’s a good way to build a sustainable company. It’s not what I want to be a part of. So we’re on a mission to adjust pay rates. I’d like to get to an average wage rate of $20/ hr. I think it will take 2 years. It’s possible we fail, but instead we think you’re going to help us create a new and better future.

That’s a picture of Jasper. He’s going to open CloverFIN (160 Federal St., Boston) in less than 2 weeks. Why put a salaried manager on this post? Because I want to draw attention to the fact that entry level pay impacts us all. We’re taking this challenge on because we believe low wages in foodservice have widespread impact. They effect customers, they effect leaders in our company, and of course, they effect hourly employees.

The only way pay goes up is if prices go up. So we started this conversation with customers about how much food service workers should be paid. We’re making small incremental increases in prices, we’re tying these increases to wage improvements, and we’re being transparent about the whole process.

That means doing the scary thing of announcing price changes and drawing attention to something most of our industry tries to keep super quiet, you know, so you don’t notice it’s happening.

Here, goes. As of this past Saturday we made the following changes to menu pricing:


  • Breakfast sandwich from 3.74 to 3.97
  • Muffin, popover, oatmeal without fruit from 2.34 to 2.80


  • Organic black iced tea, daily sodas from 2.33 to 2.80
  • OJ from 3.04 to 3.74
  • Herbal teas from 3.04 to 3.27
  • Kids items from 3.50 to 3.74


  • Sandwiches 7.47 to 7.70
  • Platters 8.41 to 8.64
  • Fries 3.74 to 4.21
  • Side salads 3.04 to 3.27

We’re expecting these changes to result in an overall change to prices of 4.4% (mix adjusted). Previous price increases have seen no measurable drop in sales (thanks everybody!) We’re hoping the same trend continues. Of course, if we see transactions drop we’ll be forced to stop or at least pause this march forward. The majority of the increase will go to increasing wages (the rest we use to cover increases in food costs, overhead, etc.). Previously our increases were pretty flat. This time we’re targeting leadership roles (Team Leader, Assistant Manager, Prep).


Team Members base pay will go from $11.25/ hour to $11.50/ hour

Team Leaders base pay will go from $13.50/ hour to $14.50/ hour

Prep base will be $12/ hour, Prep Lead will be $15/ hour

Assistant Manager pay will go from $15.00/ hour to $16.00/ hour

Recent Posts

November 29, 2023
I’m writing to share some news: we’ve decided to permanently close CloverROW, our outpost in the Assembly Row neighborhood of Somerville. The closure of this restaurant is part of the whole company’s focus on reaching financial sustainability and positioning us for future growth. These decisions are really hard, but they’re necessary steps for us to simplify Clover. And, happily, all the amazing staff at CloverROW, including the manager Joe, will be able to move into other Clover restaurants. The math is straightforward…
November 28, 2023
These sweet potato latkes date back to early days on the Clover food truck. They’re so yummy and the sweet potatoes lend them such a fun golden color. They’re probably the most popular item in our Hanukkah Meal Box, which you can get delivered on December 7th. Inside the box you’ll find: 
November 21, 2023
Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. We will be closed Thursday 11/23 at all locations. For our kitchen team, it will be a good chance to rest after prepping a ton of Brussels casseroles for our Thanksgiving Box : ) As for the days surrounding Thanksgiving, we’ll be open normal hours, except for CloverFIN (Financial District) and CloverHSC (Harvard Science Center) which will be closed tomorrow and Friday. CloverHSQ (Harvard Square) will be closing early (at 8pm) tomorrow. 
November 16, 2023
I’m not a big believer in multitasking (which, in my experience, is doing a bunch of things simultaneously and badly.) But there’s a lot going on at Clover right now, so I had to break my No Multitasking Rule on Wednesday. I asked Michele and Greg on our Finance team if they’d mind if I took myself off video during a meeting to review Accounts Payable. “I have to draw a cartoon Delicata Squash,” I explained, reasonably.
November 16, 2023
Some of you have been asking for a sides-only box – and it’s true, sides are the best part, aren’t they? We’re making a limited number of boxes with mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and King Brussels’ Casserole. Each Sides Box serves 6-8 people and can be delivered to your door for 11/21 or 11/22. 
November 9, 2023
The moment you’ve waited for is here. Western Mass Brussels sprouts are back in the restaurants, which means the King himself has landed! What’s on this glorious sandwich and why is it the King of all seasonal sandwiches? A dijon-mayo spread, smoked Grafton cheddar, fried Brussels tossed with za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice blend), pickled red cabbage, and toasted hazelnuts.
November 6, 2023
On Friday we had a company meeting with all our leadership to talk about a decision we’ve made about the future of Clover. We are all focused on putting Clover on solid financial footing so we can continue to make the food you love for many years to come. COVID changed everything for restaurants like us. The way we eat, drink, work, and get together has shifted substantially and, while Clover has seen a steady recovery in sales…
October 29, 2023
Julia here. Today, October 29, is Clover’s birthday! 15 years of perfect pita, crispy chickpea fritters, countless sandwiches that cycle with the seasons, and of course the occasional birthday cupcake. How lucky are we? Although I’ve been working at Clover for a year and a half, this was my first week as CEO. I’m excited and honored to be stepping into this role. I’ve been a Clover enthusiast for a long time – since my first taste of a Blue Oyster Mushroom sandwich as a grad student in 2013. As COO and now as CEO…
October 26, 2023
If you stop by tomorrow (Friday 10/27) around 11am, you might be treated to a bit of Clover history in the form of a carrot cupcake with buttercream frosting. One per paying customer, while they last! And they may not last long : )
October 26, 2023
A bunch of you have been asking, and yes, we are doing a Thanksgiving Box menu again this year, with all the favorites from years past – Hubbard Squash glazed with maple-Sriracha butter, mashed potatoes, gravy, Ayr’s dad’s walnut-mushroom patè, stuffing – there’s even a limited run of Petsi pies. Free delivery to your door if you’re within 30 miles of us. Click here to reserve yours.
October 22, 2023
I’ve recently asked somebody who believes in Clover as much as I do to step into the CEO role. Julia Wrin Piper has been Clover’s COO for the past 18 months and will take over running the company day-to-day. I’ll be shifting my efforts to provide support for Julia and the team, work on growth opportunities, and pursue partnerships that will amplify Clover’s mission. I’ll remain a member of the Board of Directors and active as an advisor and mentor. Clover is facing a potent mix of opportunity and challenge right now and I know Julia is exactly the right person to lead the team through these twists and turns.
October 18, 2023
On 10/29 Clover will turn 15 years old. It’s been 15 years since we first pulled up a tiny white food truck to the MIT campus in hopes of testing a menu that could make a dent in global warming. Since then we’ve supported so many local farmers; had tons of adventures on board trucks and restaurants; and met tons of wonderful customers. And most of all we’ve made food. Lots and lots of food. In honor of our 15th birthday, we sent out a survey asking you about your favorite LONG-LOST MENU ITEMS. We’ve picked the top results and we’re going to bring them back for one day only – in the form of a Birthday Meal Box!