aug 13


Some stories around 4food's beta launch last night: CNET | Eater | Thrillist| Gizmodo | NYT | SlyOyster. We open full time on September 9.


Nice. Really like the concept and hope it's a huge success. Is the menu design finalized? It's looks a little sloppy.

posted by Amit at 12:37 PM on August 13, 2010

Thanks for the feedback!

The menu was abridged for the event. We're working on fixing it up!

posted by Rex at 12:56 PM on August 13, 2010

I've been so interested in this from the start and have had one nagging curiosity about it, which Eater more or less summarized at the end of its post. "Do New Yorkers really want that much choice and customization?" I know the obvious answer is "We think so. We hope so. We'll see," but I'm interested in what thoughts you and the team have had on the possibility of ingredient proliferation and option paralysis as flow disruptors on either side of the counter.

I've been attracted to this concept specifically because of all of the possible taste combinations, but that has also been the thing I've been wondering about as a potential complication. I hadn't even thought of physical bottlenecks at the counter as the article mentioned, but had thought about option paralysis in general. Seems like it could take people quite a while to decide what they want, which one would think could be a snag in a quick-service setting.

And on the flipside I was wondering about the practicality of sourcing, prepping, and keeping ready so many different things at once behind the counter in a quick-service setting. The patties are one thing, but so many of the scoops I've read about are cooked items with enough ingredients to require a hell of a lot of ongoing prep in order for them to always be ready when the customer orders. I'm sure you all have it figured out but I'd love to know more about how that can be done in a practical and affordable way in terms of staffing and process. Or maybe less how-to than why-it's-not-a-problem.

Do you guys plan to let options live or die based on popularity? One article I read said you all wanted only more and more options in the future - like 100 scoops. But do you plan to let, say, lamb patties or compressed rice buns or jerk sauce die if they don't keep pace with the others, or is that variety intended to be permanently built in as a defining feature?

I can't help contrasting this concept to Chipotle, where the beauty and ease are in the simplicity of the choice sequence, where each of the three or four steps has no more than 3 or 4 options. That one screams move-em-through whereas this one seems to lean more towards stop-n-gape. I can see all the thought that has gone into this concept from multiple discliplines, though, so I'm sure you guys have already addressed this issue and have some good responses.

Also am I dreaming this or could one formerly build a burger on the 4food site? I could swear I did that once months ago but I can't find that option on the site now and was wondering if that indicated any recent reconsideration of the ingredients options.

Good luck to you guys. I hope to come visit.

posted by Eric at 3:41 PM on August 14, 2010

Let's say I market a burger called the Uptowner (or whatever). Somebody comes in, sees it on the leader board, and says, "I'll have the Uptowner, but add pancetta, and put it on brioche instead of multigrain. Hey can you put some sweet chili sauce on that?" Do I still get the 25 cent credit or have they really created their own at that point?

posted by Eric at 4:31 PM on August 14, 2010

Yesterday police were called to a Starbucks in Manhattan after a customer became unruly. It's a classic there's-so-much-more-to-this-story situation, but the paper reported the customer refused to use Starbucks-branded language when ordering and the event spiraled into a screaming match. I totally get this customer. Not that I would have taken it that far, but we all have our things that set us off. No matter where you live, you have to put up with stuff you don't like. You take most of it in stride, but there are limits. And these limits are exceptionally important to break once in awhile. I called the Better Business Bureau the other day when a cab driver refused to take me to a distant part of town. Most people would have just gotten into a different cab. Not me. And some day, that Starbucks lady who screamed at the barista that she wouldn't call a 'medium' a 'tall' might get into my old cab, and she'll have the benefit of being taken where she asks to go. And after a little bad PR at Starbucks, maybe I won't have to use Italian to order a size large coffee. That's what's great about communities. Everyone does what they're good at to improve them. Even if that includes petty phone calls are silly arguments when people should have just walked away.

posted by Ratman at 9:35 AM on August 17, 2010

That's crazy a tech burger joint, if they can keep it organized should be pretty cool.

posted by Steve at 3:09 PM on August 17, 2010

We have a burger stand in our place where they sale different burger flavor..i love the hawaiian which has a pineapple and a cheese on it!

posted by diannegrace at 5:36 AM on August 29, 2010

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