January 2012 we had a little Christmas Party in the catering kitchen for the major stakeholders in the business. The chef, managers, owners, and spouses. We had just decided to open GRAZE - 'a drive thru'. Needless to say, all of us were a little worried. Little risks can sometimes turn into big losses and have serious consequences.
To lighten the mood we played a little game. We each made a prediction on how well the drive thru would do. Average daily sales... and whether the concept would work or we would have to close. One third of our group predicted failure... closure within the one year lease. It was morbidly fun.
March 1st 2012 we opened with as much fanfare as possible. Emails to you gentle sandwich readers, newspaper plugs and advertisements, and facebook posts. Even a big sandwich board proclaiming "Breakfast Panini and Coffee in 3 Min or Less!!!". Day 1 thru 4 sales were $260, $164, $261, $181... Honestly, failure seemed certain. It was so dead (fancy restaurant term for slow).
And then little by little, sales grew. Pretty soon we weren't losing money. After a while we even made a dollar or two. And nowadays the drive thru seems to be doing alright. We won't be buying a helicopter anytime soon, but going out of business seems a much lower proposition these days. (My wife and I know lots of folks, it is WW after all... and for a good six months everybody asked "how is the drive thru doing?"... with grave and serious looks on their faces.)
Something seemed to happen this Fall that kind of made the Drive Thru work. We aren't really sure what it was. Maybe it was the radio adverts on the christmas station, or the free kids meals, or the newspaper ads "It's Like FAST FOOD without the CRAP in it". Or maybe we just figured out how to do what we do a little bit better and more efficient. It could have been the horsemeat scandal in Europe, or the pink slime publicity in the US. Oh, who knows, and who cares. We are just thankful the whole thing seems to be working alright... knock on wood.
We cook honest food. We like what we make. We eat it everyday. We hope you do to.
(Cupcakes with every order Friday, March 1st, random giveaways of gift certificates, $5.50 grilled cheese and chips or salad... shhhh, it's like a drive thru secret)
GRAZE - 'a place to eat' 509-522-9991
GRAZE - 'a drive thru' 509-540-1261
Mon - Sat 10am - 7:30pm
Sunday 10am - 3:30pm, home for family dinner