Innovation? It's on the bag

Hmmm… am I more hungry than unwilling to get cold?

The answer was YES, I am hungry and more willing to brave the Wisconsin winter cold to go out for lunch than to listen to my stomach growls without lunch. Heading toward the door, I ran into a coworker who was venturing out for the same reason and we decided to lunch together. Dan drove (thank you) and already had a place in mind… Which Wich. I was good with the new recommendation and happy for lunch conversation.

Upon entering, we received a cheerful greeting of “have you been here before?” Being a newbie to Which Wich, I was led to the side counter and given a brief intro to the process.

This side counter was well defined and expansive enough that I quickly figured out the ordering procedure and did not feel hurried while determining my sandwich voyage. The signage positioned above the counter provided the initial information and decision point of sandwich type. The clearly labeled bins contained the corresponding sandwich order forms that allowed for in-depth detailing of the sandwich and lunch experience.

Hmmm… am I more hungry than willing to get cold? A lunchtime decision to brave the midwinter cold led to a lunch that I unsuspectedly evaluated as a new experience.
Bags were clipped to a cable providing visibility of orders while progressing through the production process. End result? Big, tasty good sandwich.

Info graphics and layout allowed for clear selection of offerings and easy, self-paced decisions. I grabbed a marker to continue my sandwich definition and quickly realized that this procedure was different from other sandwich shops and intriguing enough for a closer evaluation.

The order form WAS the sandwich bag. Upon completion and giving it to the cashier, the info transfer for order was essentially done and greatly minimized the Q/A of the typical order procedure. The time at the register was minimal and effortless without the need for answering option selection questions. This allowed me time to see how the bag was the common element through the sandwich creation and delivery. Bags were clipped to a cable providing visibility of orders while progressing thru the production process. Sandwiches met up with their bags of origin at the end of the assembly line and distribution counter.

I was handed my sandwich over the counter with a smile and cautionary note to “grab some extra napkins… that’s a big one.” Looking at my order, I heeded the warning and grabbed enough napkins to match the heft of my custom sandwich. While leaving, I noticed the wall of sandwich bags that were much more customized than mine. This extended opportunity for personalization and additive experience was again different and intentional.

The ride back to the office was still cold, but slightly better with the temporary hand warmer that I was holding (got my sandwich toasted) and the anticipation of my “big one” sandwich. Sitting down and peeling back the foil provided two realizations… (1) whoa, this IS big, and (2) I’m going in THERE. The size of the sandwich was indeed big, and the cut of the mass displayed an immediate point-of-entry to enable tackling such a monster.

In the end, the napkins were well used and the “big-one” was quickly gone. Thoughts of the experience were very positive. My end deliverable meal was very tasty-good. The process leading up to the meal was unique from other experiences and notable for other reasons. The format and procedure for ordering seemed to streamline my experience and complement the experience overall. Thinking deeper, this may also provide benefits for Which Wich economies and efficiencies. The differentiation of process and experience was intentional and notable. AND it tasted good.

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