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blog of cafe owners and new biz startup

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Business lesson for the day. Men like a cheap breakfast sandwich unless their tastebuds are seduced into a dance to a new epicurean samba or the boss is paying. Three truckers guys stumbled in to our jersey city food salon for breakfast. We are not a diner but a food salon that takes extra joy in making and presenting food well. As the out of their element truckers perused the serendiptous menu , a sort of creole growl erupted from one of the hungry men who seemed to be the boss - "What- are we in Manhaattan"?" he says one as he recoiled in horror at the 5.50 price tag for our dee-lish-ous sausage, egg and cheese panini. In my most Martha Stewartesque hospitable tone I said-Where do you think we learned our pricing?
Another stood gloating that there wasn't a trans fatty substation around in order to fill up on fake Egg products where prices are lower, packaging is rustic and service is as sub-pedestrian and mass merchandised as it gets
But since they didn't know the neighborhood they decided to stay and order two SMoked Ham, Egg and Cheese Panini and coffee. The third ogled the ecclectic breakfast menu and smiled at me and ordered the Avocado, Tomato , Egg and Cheese Panini and a Homemade Raspberry Lemonade. Clearly, two were not happy and the third was willing to take a risk
When brekfast arrived on a retro 20's plastic plate each trucker look bewildered. I wondered -Have they never seen a designed plate. Okay, maybe the plates are a bit over the top. Sandwiches are sagitally cut on a bias and arranged on the plate e in an organized pig pile fashion with a symetrical spray of tart crisp apple slices lying next to it. Yum. As I approached the table to ask how was the food - quick commentary darted out of their mouths- " best breakfast sandwich I ever had." "Never tasted a sandwich this good." "Delicious." "the best thing is our boss is paying for it." The bill was over $25- they paid . I thanked them for entering our food salon and bid them a fond farewell on their journey. I knew in my heart I would never see them again , but for a moment in time -the bakerboys satisfied and expanded three gentle truckers palates.
A bout three minutes after they left, one returned and dropped an extra $2 in the tip cup and smiled and said goodbye.. For a moment I felt like Carmen. Key learning- Good product. Good service wins even the hearts of the cheapest-- umm- price conscious cs. In fact, they'll pay that little extra for a sensual epicurean breakfast dance if given the opportunity.

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