“Logistically, we wanted to get in the groove of a full-service operation,” Zadikoff says.“And get as much of our operational legs under us. Because as much as the concept is an extension of the restaurant, it is a completely separate operation on its own as well. And it needs to be treated like that. We didn’t want to overburden ourselves. We wanted to make sure what we’re executing is on point and what we set out to do.”
About two weeks after opening the full-service Michael Jordan’s Restaurant, Cornerstone revealed its Coffee Bar & Market. There were some immediate issues to address. For starters, the last thing Michael Jordan’s wanted was for guests to pick between the two.
“We want to double up the frequency of them visiting us, not cannibalize it,” he says.
Cornerstone did this by being very specific about price points, as well as the type of food offered. While some ingredients are shared, helping reduce food waste, you can’t get a pared down version of a Michael Jordan’s Restaurant menu item at the Coffee Bar & Market. The dynamics and crowds they serve are separate.
“We said, ‘Hey, this will be a good challenge. How can we do this for coffee, breakfast pastries, sandwiches, lunch, and grab and go in that realm, and still fulfill that need for office tenants, and it doesn’t compete with our own restaurant business?” Zadikoff says.
Operationally, the food comes from the same kitchen. The team that preps for the restaurant is the same for the Coffee Bar & Market. The ingredients are the same as well, although the dishes are not. For example, brisket used the restaurant can turn into a sandwich. Or grilled chicken could morph into a salad, and so on. “It’s a great cross utilization of product but still being able o differentiate it,” he says.
“It’s the same high-quality produce, but maybe just different proteins and garnishes that we’re using in the grab-and-go salad as opposed to the restaurant. Again, we never want to cannibalize our own operation,” Zadikoff adds.“We’re not putting out the same product because they’re in very different price points; portions are different, and the menus are different altogether.”