Kari Hendrick, The Butcher's Daughter
September 29, 2020
Going beyond the brick and mortar to discover new ways of delivering the magic of Abbott Kinney's beloved "vegetable slaughterhouse."
When asked what single piece of advice she would give to aspiring restaurateurs who might be looking at the state of the industry, and the world, in uncertainty, Kari Hendrick of the The Butcher’s Daughter in LA has one piece of advice:
“Do it. There will be lots of people who are jaded from this [COVID-19, temporary restaurant closures], and have just had enough. But that will open up a lot of opportunities for young people who are bright-eyed, creative and motivated to come in and live out their dream. Owning a restaurant is a mix of food, culture and community, and that's exactly what we all need right now.”
The "vegetable slaughterhouse" philosophy
If you’ve been to the Butcher’s Daughter on Abbott Kinney, you know that the food is delicious, and the environment is second to none. The space and concept are both quintessentially Southern California. Affectionately regarded as LA’s “vegetable slaughterhouse,” the philosophy behind The Butcher’s Daughter is to “treat fruits and vegetables how a butcher would treat meat: chop, fillet, carve.” This philosophy challenges the reputation of a city that’s notoriously known for endless substitutions and high-maintenance food trends by, “making the experience as easy as possible for all people. You come in to Butcher's, and eat vegetarian and don't even notice. There doesn’t need to be any over thinking or inner turmoil. It doesn't have to be a part of some 'cut out meat for 30 days' thing - it shouldn't be strict. Eating well should be be easy and available for everyone, and people should feel welcome at Butcher's no matter what.”
The “vegetable slaughterhouse” philosophy extends beyond the food into the environment. A cozy space filled with warm tan woods, distressed tie dye seat cushions, lush plants hanging from sharp butcher hooks, polished bronze, textured wicker and white brick. But when Kari and Butcher’s Daughter had to evolve their business to cater to majority online orders, that perfect environment was the same thing they had to break out of.
“You have to break down the four walls around you and just think about how you can bring the experience to the people.
Everything has changed, but that opens new opportunities to be creative in finding ways to bring the experience from the restaurant directly to people’s homes.”
Delivering The Butcher's Daughter's environment on-demand
For Butcher’s Daughter, getting a grasp on delivery meant extending their curated environment to work on-demand. "The delivery experience was tough at first, it felt like it COVID-19 took a little bit of the magic out what we do. By the fourth week, we were like, 'this is not fun.' So we all came together and thought about what we could do to bring back some of that magic. We created these Bodega Boxes, essentially curating 'to-go' into a 2x3 wooden crate. People loved it because it let them have a little piece of Butcher's in their homes. We sold a ton of them, and ended up curating like 15 crates. It was a whole new opportunity that we probably wouldn't have come up with if it weren't for what was going on."
While Kari was exploring how to deliver both the taste and feeling of Butcher’s Daughter to its customers, the brick and mortar space itself was becoming overcrowded by the countless cords and tablets required to run a restaurant on multiple delivery platforms. “It was such a headache with all the platforms. We had 9 screens hanging up and cords everywhere and dead iPads and pretty bad customer service."
Increasing ease and efficiency of online-orders with Otter
She signed up for Otter to make the process of providing her customers with the food and feeling they love simpler and more efficient for her employees.
“I'm in the 'in between' with technology. I'm not quite a millennial, so sort of slow with tech, but I understand apps. It’s a single tablet. I love the layout. It's simple and intuitive, anyone can follow it. It's helpful when you have so many hands. Everyone needs to know the system - there are a lot of people that work on getting one individual order to a customer. Keeping it consolidated and easy to use for all types of employees was huge for me. It fixed a lot of headaches.”
And though switching to a new restaurant technology platform during the busiest take-out/delivery time period in history was “scary, making the move to Otter was the best and smoothest transition I’ve ever had. It was really easy to navigate, and there was always someone there to support me and help me through it.”
“We’re super super grateful for the fact that we’ve been able to survive and work towards getting back in the green.”
You can support Butcher’s Daughter by ordering Kari’s go-to delivery order, “We do awesome cold pressed juice. The #8 'Honey Bee' is my favorite. The pad thai –my favorite dish. It's zesty, tons of lime, gluten free. And then a loaf of fresh bread. We bake all of our bread in house, I don't think a lot of people know that. Every Friday our pastry chef does fresh challah, so I would definitely get that on Friday.” Available for delivery on Caviar, Postmates, UberEats, Doordash, and Grubhub.