Corporate stores stayed operational, and within a week and a half, Another Broken Egg signed a deal with DoorDash. A few weeks later, UberEats. It then began working with Olo on online ordering. Macaluso dipped into his connections to fast track the process.
He says off-premises kept Another Broken Egg from fully shutting down. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a bottom, though. At one point, it had five cafes open—four corporate and a lone franchise. But by the time 25 percent capacity options arose in markets, most opened within a matter of three to four weeks, Macaluso says. These operators returned to units ready for third-party delivery and online ordering.
Operators also tested other COVID lifelines, like meal kits, dinner, and groceries. The chain hosted a toilet paper promotion. “We were trying everything to just see what would stick,” Macaluso says.
Another Broken Egg reduced its menu from about 60 choices to 20. Only best-sellers. It was able to keep managers employed, as well as some hourly workers. Managers, in fact, were never laid off. Instead, Another Broken Egg shifted them into open stores. “And we started gaining some momentum,” Macaluso says.
Business outside the four walls at Another Broken Egg accounted for just 2–3 percent of sales pre-COVID. It’s now north of 20 percent. As units reopened—up to 100 percent capacity in 23 Florida cafes—the figure held steady.
In the last four weeks, Another Broken Egg’s overall same-store sales have tracked double-digit positive. “It’s been incredible,” Macaluso says of off-premises. “I think it would have taken years to build that part of our business to this level. If we had just launched it and put a little bit of meaning behind it, some people would have taken advantage of it. But obviously consumers were shifting in a big way.”
Off-premises bouncing fiercely off the bottom is hardly the only culprit. There were really two additional factors for Another Broken Egg. One is something that runs counter to early COVID trends, at least on the to-go and delivery side: people started drinking more.
Another Broken Egg boasts full bars in every location, with options like mimosa and Bloody Mary pitchers and spiked cold brews. One example is the Brunch Old Fashioned, with includes cold brew, Evan Williams Kentucky Bourbon, and Finest Call Old Fashioned Mix.
Before coronavirus, Another Broken Egg reported between 10–12 percent of sales from alcohol mix. Today, it’s nearly double, which has skyrocketed average check and helped profitability. In response, Another Broken Egg doubled down on the bar and started to promote and develop creative, exclusive drinks.