The Secret Sandwich Order Handshake

March 25, 2008

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Which Wich
has become the place to go for the Hoover’s lunch crowd. I finally ‘got it’ when I went in person the other day.

The secret is the order process. (Which Wich aficionados can skip this paragraph.) You pick a bag with one of ten sandwich categories on it (chicken, seafood, classic, etc) and mark checkboxes on the bag to customize your order. You then hand that bag to the cashier, where it’s put up on a wire that’s used to steer your order through the sandwich process. Experienced patrons write their name on the back of the bag to track their order through the workstream to completion.

I’ve already taken a ‘newbie’ back to show off my mastery of the Secret Sandwich Order Handshake. There’s something compelling about having to know a little secret in order to use a product.

The secret handshake creates Participation, the 5th P of Marketing (not a new thing, and not restricted to online arenas). Like software Easter eggs, a poorly kept secret is a great technique to take a sandwich shop from good to viral.

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2 Responses to “The Secret Sandwich Order Handshake”

  1. Jeff Sinelli Says:

    Thank you for “getting it”…love the “5th P” stuff.
    -Jeff Sinelli, Founder of WW

  2. rsomers Says:

    Jeff, thanks for founding such a tasty idea!

    I was arguing with a friend yesterday over whether the order process is operational brilliance or marketing genius. We decided the answer is…both.


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