Now that we have a goal for Thanksgiving orders (1,000 pies in one day, remember?), we are starting to look a little more logistics of pie pickup. And the one piece that we can’t seem to decide on to save our lives is the extra space next door.
If you recall, last year we rented that space for the month of November and used it to store extra supplies first the first few weeks of the month and then as our pie pickup location during the week of Thanksgiving. We received a lot of positive feedback for our organization and ease of pickup (which is good considering the previous year was an unmitigated pie pickup disaster). But we did receive some feedback that the spare space next door didn’t have our vibe or our trademark pie aroma or the interest of watching 10 or so people try to make 1,000 pies in 1,000 square feet in one day. (Wait…maybe THAT is my snappy Thanksgiving 2k16 tagline: “1,000 pies. 1,000 square feet. One day.”)
So, I will tell you that Jeanne and I are a bit divided on whether to rent the space or not. I’m leaning more towards renting it and using it as an overflow space for all the extra boxes and pie tins and bags and 30 pound boxes of pecans that we will be purchasing over the next month. And I’m wondering if we could do a bit of a compromise, perhaps allowing people to pay for the pies in our store while they soak in the aroma and watch the flour fly as we bake. Each paying customer would then take a voucher of sorts next door to pick up their pies from our volunteers. Annnnd then I second guess myself on the whole go to our store/go to the store next door process. Is that annoying to people? Would I be annoyed if I were a customer? Possibly. But I would probably also be the first one to not love the plain atmosphere of the temporary space, preferring to wait in line in PJP for the experience of it all.
Jeanne, always a contender for a serious challenge, firmly believes that if we just think through it all and organize well, we could figure out a way to do it all just in our store. She hates to spend the $400 to rent it for the month (which we both acknowledge is not a major expense, but being mindful of expenses is a part of the consideration). And she really didn’t care for the back-and-forth between the two spaces that we all did for that week of Thanksgiving. Each pie had to be boxed, tagged, and bagged and then taken next door (usually in the middle of the night). And for the most part, it just felt like we had people everywhere and just that much more to think about and manage. (And people always ask about an alternative location completely off-site from PJP Buttonwood and we are never that keen for all of these reasons…moving baked pies that have been boxed, plus getting your customers directed to a location that isn’t your normal storefront is a veritable challenge, even when that place is NEXT DOOR to our store.)
So, now that I’ve laid it all out for you…any thoughts from the customer experience perspective?