Lessons from the Locals: Goodnight Fatty
(originally published to the Business Owner Tide Chart newsletter - October 2019)
A craving for a sweet treat to end the night. We’ve all had them. But for Jen and Erik Sayce that craving means business. I bet you know who I’m talking about, Goodnight Fatty. Those delicious, warm unique cookies you can only get on the weekends. As a consumer, I love them. As a business person I stress out at the challenge Jen and Erik are faced with each week. Not only do they have to dream up new flavor combinations every week (ok, that’s probably a lot of fun) but they have to ensure their staff knows how to make the latest cookie flavor. There isn’t a lot of time to practice. And just as staff get the hang of it, it’s Sunday night and time to move on to a new flavor. Jen and I sat down a few weeks ago and talked about this challenge and the value of ongoing learning in the Fatty kitchen.
I learned right away that Jen has a solid structure in place. It took some trial and error as their business has grown but today they have a good rhythm. With a consistently changing menu, it would be really difficult for every employee to know everything. So instead, different roles are responsible for learning different details. The employee who works the register knows the ingredients and potential allergy concerns. Jen meets with this employee one-on-one. She is able to answer questions and she encourages her staff to take notes. When she is not there, they still have all the information they need to answer customer's questions. I bet you’ve seen the little post it notes by the register.
When it comes to making the Fatty's, the team follows a similar process each week even if the actual ingredients have changed. Finding some consistency in routine makes learning the new cookie each week easier.
Learning never ends, especially when your product changes each week. Jen's one-on-one approach and staff structure mean Goodnight Fatty’s goal of providing a warm cookie and a kid like experience each weekend is always a success. And if you haven't tried them for yourself yet, get over to The Alley or The Carriage House this weekend! You can find Goodnight Fatty on Instagram for all the details.