Blog - Alan - April 30, 2017 - 11:10am

Concentration & AND…

I've discovered one of the finest marketing plans and person in the nation. Each morning I walk into Dunkin' Donuts in Grand Central to say “hi” to Sweety. I'm not being misogynistic; that is truly her name, SWEETY (it’s on her name tag). Her tip jar is always full.

Here's why. There are two things that she does extraordinarily well. First, she remembers everyone’s order. As soon as she recognizes a customer in line, she is already writing his or her name on a cup knowing what that person is going to order.  You can imagine what iterations of orders (coffee, tea, egg sandwiches, etc.) exist. I've watched this time and time again and have even enjoyed my seat a while longer to observe for a 30-minute spell at a busy time in the morning. I would say that seven out of 10 people that come to the shop are just saying “hi” and presenting their app for Dunkin' Donuts or have cash ready. Years ago, there was a game show on TV called Concentration, where a square on the board was flipped over and the contestant had to find a matching square that was flipped over from a previous time.  You won prizes for every match. Sweety’s facial recognition must be on par with the facial recognition computer model at the NSA!

Coffee alone has:
Hot or Cold: 2
Sizes: 4 for hot, 3 for cold
Flavor(s): 9
Milk: 4
No, Sugar, sugar substitute: 3
Number of each added sugar(s): 3
Bag or no bag: 2
(This does not include cold brew or espresso variations)
Total possible Variations: 15,000 +

Secondly, Sweety utilizes a marketing technique that is very, very sophisticated and simple at the same time. Since she has mastered what regular customers are going to order, she only has to ask people who she doesn't know what they would like. No matter what they say, she says the word “and” as they are placing the order. As in, “I will have a large coffee with skim milk,” she says “and…” waiting for a customer to add another item. She doesn't complicate the order with phrases like "would you like something else?” or “Is there anything else I can get for you?” It is simply the word “and” -said open ended... So many just add a doughnut, breakfast meal, or an espresso shot, etc. to their order. 

I encourage any of you that are in Grand Central near the 45th St. entrance to witness this marketing genius.