Help My Anxiety...
If you recall, I was never a PJP V. 1.0 employee. I didn't roll dough or bake pies along side Jeanne and Peg, even as their staff of employees grew as their business grew. If Jeanne asked me to log a few hours behind the cash register at PJP, then you better believe it was a DIRE circumstance. Or Thanksgiving week. Thanksgiving week was the crown jewel of the PJP year. At the peak, PJP V. 1.0 did just under 1,000 pies for Thanksgiving at their Chapel Hill location. I remember working to fill orders as customers flooded the lobby of that location all Wednesday afternoon and feeling overwhelmed by the sheer pace of the process. I also remember Jeanne and Peg working 36 hours or more with exceptionally limited sleep and then spending most of their subsequent holiday napping away. And when people always assume our Thanksgiving table was graced by the best of PJP, you can rest assured that if we had any dessert, it was likely Hostess cupcakes because there were never any leftover pies during Thanksgiving week. And asking Jeanne to add you to the baking schedule as she neared her 30th hour without sleep could be harmful to your health.
Now that our first official Thanksgiving season for PJP V. 2.0 is almost upon us, we've spent a lot of time talking about what Thanksgiving will mean for PJP Buttonwood. Logistically, how will it work? Realistically, how many orders can we expect? Truthfully, how many orders can we fill? Ideally, how do we want to approach such an important time for our business?
We. Have. No. Answers. To. All. The. Questions.
I suggested to Jeanne that a goal of 2,000 pies seemed like a good idea to me. After she finished laughing herself into a near asthma attack, she told me that I was crazy and if I didn't get the number 2,000 out of my head, she wasn't going to talk to me any longer. But then she changed her mind and decided 2,000 sounded pretty good...except then I started to doubt whether we could realistically expect 2,000 orders. And this, people, is what happens when you make decisions with a caffeine high from a trenta iced coffee and no historical sales data for the holiday.
2,000 pies or not, we know to streamline our scales of efficiency, we need to narrow the choices available for order that week. (Before you get impressed with my business vocabulary, I'll tell you that I said to Behind-The-Scenes-Tech-Guru Jason that I absolutely couldn't handle making one stray raisin cream pie at 2 am on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and he said that was focusing on my "scales of efficiency." Who knew?) So here are the options: Pecan, Chocolate Bourbon Pecan, German Chocolate, Pumpkin, Apple, Dutch Apple, Caramel Apple, Buttermilk Chess, and French Silk. All of these pies will be available in the 9-inch version only that week. We will offer pick-up availability on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of Thanksgiving week and extended hours.
The other clear piece of the puzzle is that customer preorders will help us be the most successful. If customers preorder their pies, it helps us to build our baking schedule, prepare supplies, and bake your pie and place your order form next to it early on the morning you plan to pick it up. I think that if everyone floods PJP Buttonwood for Thanksgiving pies on that Wednesday and we sell out and have nothing to offer the masses, I'll have enough anxiety to last us all until Thanksgiving 2015. And because I get sorta itchy even thinking about not having enough pie to meet demand, we are offering a 10% discount for anyone who places their order in October. It is that simple...you just have to visit or call, order your pies, tell us which day that week you want them, and you'll receive 10% off. You don't even have to pre-pay. In short, my anxiety issues are your gain this holiday season.
My anxiety says you are welcome.