The Washington Post’s recent Chick-fil-A put actual cauliflower on a sandwich—and it’s good caught my curiosity and I’m glad I stuck with it for the full read.
One doesn’t have to be a fan of Chick-fil-A to appreciate the article. (Full disclosure: I’ve never tried one because the lines near mine are always crazy long whenever I pass by. I just can’t muster that kind of patience for a meal.) And one doesn’t even have to like chicken sandwiches or be well-versed in what makes one so good (or not good).
Here’s the article’s shared detail I appreciated (with my emphasis):
Simple though it may seem, it took about four years of testing to nail down the method and recipe. “Our challenges really stem more from operational issues vs. taste,” Stuart Tracy, Chick-fil-A’s principal culinary lead for menu and packaging, said via email. “Our Operators and Team Members have to be able to prepare and serve menu offerings with ease, so some of the ideas we had were good in theory, but they would have put too much pressure on our restaurant teams.”
They were looking for “low operational complexity.”
A great reminder for all of us, right? We can have a really good (even brilliant!) idea in theory. And maybe it will work. But no one will know until it is tested and replicated in live conditions. Sometimes it will take a lot of tests: Test. Observe. Test. Re-tweek. Test again. And again.
Even if it takes four years. Four years to find “low operational complexity” for the masses!!
Perhaps that keen dedication to process planning, understanding why implementation must be practical, and waiting until you know you have it right is why so many find those long lines to be worthwhile.