Make It Better
Mar 24, 2023 7:05:09 PM • Maggie Pearson
Here at Feast & Fettle one of our guiding principles is the motto ‘Make It Better’, we have it posted in various places around our facility as a daily reminder that there's always room for improvement. Although we didn’t have this principle up on the walls initially when we were producing out of a shared kitchen facility, it was ingrained in our thinking, even if we were unaware at the time.
One example of this is our commitment to working with the best producers, purveyors, and distributors to supply our kitchens with the highest quality ingredients. Before starting Feast & Fettle, I worked for years as a personal chef, accustomed to spending my mornings shopping for the freshest ingredients and dedicating the rest of the day to preparing various meals for my clients. Within the first year of launching Feast & Fettle, I still shopped and handpicked most of the ingredients we used in our recipes. With scale, we eventually needed to choose wholesale suppliers that could deliver ingredients directly to us. What may seem like a simple task soon proved to be more challenging than expected. For example, we were no longer able to hand-select which cherry tomatoes we were going to use in our Southwest salad or which green beans we were using for our green beans with caramelized onions. Instead, we relied on our suppliers to provide us with quality ingredients. However, there were instances when these suppliers failed to meet our standards. In such cases, we refused to settle for anything less than the best, even if it cost us extra time and money. Through perseverance, dedication, and time, we have managed to amass an impressive list of producers and suppliers. We rely on them completely to provide us with the highest quality ingredients, and they remain our trusted partners to this day. Just about a year ago, we also formalized a set of standards for purchasing into a food ethos that we shared with our members, committing to make every dish from scratch, with fresh, unprocessed ingredients and no artificial preservatives.
Another example is through our carefully curated weekly menus. The first Feast & Fettle menu included just six entrees and six sides, rotating only a few of the menu items every few weeks. After receiving valuable feedback from early members, it became clear that we needed to make some changes. To improve our customers' experience, our menu needed to rotate weekly and expand. Making this change was crucial for our organic growth, but most meal delivery services, particularly national brands, avoid doing so because it complicates things and drives up costs. It was during this time that I created themed menu weeks - Mediterranean, Italian, Asian (Thai, Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese & Indian), Latin American, American/Southern cuisine - in an effort to increase offerings as well as create cohesive pairings between entrees and sides. We quickly increased the number of entrees available to eight and then soon after to ten. We eventually created an Add-On section, expanding the menu further, with lunchtime salads, mini meals, energy bites, as well as a few local partnership products and convenience items. Since then, we have made even more improvements, increasing offerings to 14+ entrees and sides, as well as removing the themed menus, allowing for more menu variety. We even expanded our Add-Ons sections to include kids, on-the-go, soups & salads, baked goods, and extras. We are committed to continuing to improve our menus based on frequently accessed member feedback and order behavior and adapting accordingly.
Feast & Fettle has countless instances where we strive to ‘Make It Better’, but let me leave you with this thought: growth is not achieved by staying in our comfort zones; it only materializes when we push ourselves beyond what we believe we can achieve.