Click, click, the sounds of the coins falling into our make due cashier box was like music to my ears. I looked at my computer screen as I saw the list of customers we had received, “ Not bad”, I mumbled a little too loudly.
The sun was a little too strong to what we consider winter in Lima, it was Friday before break and people were giddier than usual. I felt relief as my cheeks flushed. An hour ago I was worried. No, more like petrified. Our Dipitz restaurant was put into the ultimate test when our plan had failed to show success and sustainability hours before our official launch.
So, What happened? What caused us to make drastic changes minutes before our sale?
Let's start with the beginning...
Dipitz was created as a business which ultimately made different dips. Ideally having the school community as our target audience we were destined to sell on campus. But, let's face it. Our school already has a wide array of food providers, so we seeked to find a way for dipitz to have a clear product differentiation.
Being realistic, we couldn't make the dips have super powers ( though that would be awesome), so we decided to seek for our " x factor" beyond the product. What was our campus missing? What did students want?
BAM! The idea struck.
" Dipitz the pop-up restaurant", a place where students got a cool teenage ambience to hang out with their friends while having exceptional restaurant services for delicious dips. Music blasting on speakers, cool lounge chairs and tasty food, in school? Who doesn't want that?
Was our marketing campaign too weak? Did they not like our food? Was the price wrong? Was it a wrong date to sell? Why had only three people signed up for our restaurant experience? Was it the wrong spot?
Our products were done. We were running against the clock and let's face it ; our situation wasn't getting any prettier.
If we gave our product for free, would it reek of desperation? I was devastated, part of me was hoping that people would show up and we could continue with our original idea, but it was unrealistic.
In what I considered to be minutes a decision was made as damage control for the current setback. We were setting up in the eating area, we were adapting the prices: we were selling that day.
We were more successful than what I had imagined. We made a profit, but most importantly we had showcased our product. As a group, we were devastated that our idea didn't follow through, but it is not about the attachment of an idea, it's about what works and what doesn't. We used this situation to analyze what we needed to improve upon in order for us to find a plateau of success. Our current issue wasn't our products nor the pricing, it was our lack of sustainability. Our consumers enjoyed our product, they enjoyed the cool vibe, but for them it was more of a one time thing.
A day that began with the numb taste of failure and deception turned into what I felt was a rewarding learning experience.
We fixed our problem, but most importantly we found a long-term solution for an issue that was bound to strike us sooner or later.
Yes, DipitZ had changed. Of course, we were disappointed, but we understand that in order for a business to succeed it must constantly adapt to what its consumer wants.
I look forward to seeing the business grow and continue to find new ways to remain sustainable and fulfil the customer's expectations.
“ Trying and not succeeding is not a failure; it is part of discovering what works”