Dear Joanne Chang,
This is probably pretty obvious by now, but you are clearly a better person than I am. First of all, I bet you would’ve promptly written a thank you note to someone who had taken time away from running their very successful business to meet with you if the roles were reversed and I were the award-winning restaurateur behind Flour and Myers & Chang and you were a freelance copywriter/amateur blogger.
Secondly, if some rando amateur blogger/cookie fan of mine wrote a disparaging blog post about my bakery’s check out process, I’d probably completely ignore her, complain bitterly about her to Matty, and then write a scathing takedown of her in my secret Facebook lady complaints group (not it’s real name, because, duh, it’s secret, and also, shoutout to my secret FBLCG!). I’m also a bit grudgy, so I possibly but not definitely would have posted your photo by the register with a note that says, “Tell her we’re out of Lola cookies, no matter what,” because I’m spiteful like that. But you did none of these things (although perhaps you have your own secret FB lady complaints group, in which case, shout out to Joanne’s ladies!). Instead, you discussed my complaints with your management team in length, had a meeting about them, and then invited me to Flour to discuss my issues with you.
So, a very belated thank you for taking the time to meet with me, hearing me out, and even further, explaining the thought process behind your process and the challenges of my proposed solution. I forget some of the details and the phrases you used (because that’s what happens when you wait too long to write a thank you note), but I think I retain the gist of the problem. First, you like to maintain a full and delicious-looking display window, which means sometimes the Lola cookie you get is not the one you see; it’s one from the bakery rack in the back. Secondly, having man-to-man server coverage is actually more time-consuming than zone (order-taker, cookie-getter, cash register-worker) coverage, something which you’ve gotten complaints about in other locations. And you know what? That makes perfect sense.
I think my favorite part of our meeting, though, is when you told me you have the same issue I do, and that you usually just go up to the counter and say, “Can I have that Lola cookie right there?” I’m totally doing that next time. Powdered-sugar fist bump.
Thank you again for being a gracious and lovely person. I hope you enjoyed my mom’s Crack cookies.
p.s. I’m incredibly excited about the Myers and Chang cookbook. Please tell me the hot & sour soup recipe is in there.