PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Thanksgiving dinner orders at Joseph’s Classic Markets are running 25% to 30% ahead of last year’s orders, owner Joseph Acierno said last week, and he attributes some of that jump to word-of-mouth advertising about the easy pick-up system he devised last year.
Avoiding chaos was his motive, but his system turned out to provide an extra plus — happy, smiling customers. Acierno said pick-up morning could have been overwhelming since he had a record number of orders — 800 — last year, all to be picked up between 9 and noon on Thanksgiving Day.
For organization’s sake, associates had assigned a number to each order as it came in, and customers were told to write the number down and bring it with them. As dinners were packed up, the corresponding order number was painted on the dinner box.
It was easy for associates to find an order because they were organized numerically, but even during the short wait customers were made comfortable. Urns of hot coffee and stacks of doughnuts stood on the patio outside the store, and customers were urged to help themselves. A live combo provided background music.
“The system got immediate praise from customers last year,” Acierno said.
This year, Acierno has held the retail price for the store-cooked dinners to the same as last year’s — $199.00 for a dinner that feeds 12 to 14 people, and $109.00 for a smaller one — and he has added the convenience of online ordering.
The whole system stays the same as last year, and Acierno said he looks forward to the same friendly atmosphere.
“Nice hassle-free pick-ups, and happy customers. That’s what we want.”
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