Alpha Chef Challenge

I’ve spent the past two days in ideation sessions with commercial chefs and industrial designers coming up with new menu ideas and packaging designs for BK. Think Top Chef sans editing. It has been fascinating to get to work on new product development, actually building the marketing into the products. Of course the details are all top secret, but I found I had a lot to offer. These chefs attended top culinary schools and work with other fast food and QSR companies. So they are steeped in their companies’ offerings, and they did homework visiting other restarurants, but they don’t know our audience or our brand very well. One of the chefs really gets our audience and is probably closest to the target and you could see that in his ideas and executions. There’s the the meat dude, the bread woman, the sauce lady, and several others who we all got to ideate with along with BK R&D. Then the chefs spent several hours today actually cooking our top picks in real BK kitchen scenarios. There were some really horrible ideas and some really amazing ones. A concept is such a different thing than an execution. And the chefs are really just better fed versions of the average creative wearing special smocks.

Tomorrow they make larger batches for us to taste and narrow down the field. Then on to the black box of consumer testing. I’m very curious to see this process through. I hope something makes it onto the menu board.

If my head wasn’t screwed on…

I might have left it on the dining room table along with my wallet – including ID and credit cards. I got right in the car and up to the kiosk at the airport before I realized what I’d done. I only took it out to make sure I had my license and hadn’t left it in a back pocket. Jeez. Of course, this all went down at 5:45 in the morning and amazingly I was able to go home, get the wallet and get to the airport just in the nick of time so I made my flight. Now I’m in Orlando waiting for the last leg to Miami. And I realize I have to pay back the angel of travel karma by getting to the airport for my next few flights super early. I hate being in debt to her.

But she sure didn’t help me any last week when I left my blackberry charger in my hotel room. I just left Westin lost & found a message, so hopefully it will be recovered. I have a USB charger at home, but I was freaking out this morning when I needed to coordinate ID retrieval that my phone would die at any moment. I was about ready to give up on today and try again tomorrow.

Then perhaps this is sharing too much, but I had a horrible underground blemish that was driving me mad. Like someone hid a focus group M&M in my chin. So Saturday I went in to get a glycolic peel. I’d had this done before, or so I thought, but it must have been at a much lower concentration because after she’d begun and it was stinging like hell, she proceeded to tell me that my face would begin to peel in 48 hours. The previous facial treatments I’d had left me red for half an hour. But not this time. Here I sit now with peeling skin of the magnitude of a horrible sunburn fighting the urge to pick at the sahara that is my face.

I just need to get through this day packed with meetings once I return and do my several thousand dollars of expense reports.

Lasik is a beautiful thing

I had eye surgery yesterday and have already recovered save for a few drops in the eyes here and there. It was pretty scary going in, but it was all over quickly and virtually painlessly. There’s some discomfort from stinging and pressure that you’re not used to, but so worth it. I can’t wait to put my glasses in one of those bins for people in Africa.

And now on to other personal improvement projects, like shaking this new year’s chest cold and exercising again.