XO Chinese Food

Have you ever turned around from a restaurant or storefront because it looked like a quality place? As a former student still in that mindset, I definitely have. My team went for pizza and forgot to bring back Jimmy Johns (cheese and I are at odds) so I ventured out into downtown to try and find something. Truth be told, I was glad not to have the sandwich- the JJ “Club Lulu” (#16) is easily my most commonly eaten object in the last 16-20 months, but I wasn’t feeling something cold at the moment. I needed something warm, greasy, saucy, meaty- like pizza- oh wait. My next thought was chinese. As I rounded the corner to where I thought Jimmy Johns was, sure enough, I saw an Asian place on the other side of the street. Problem was, the all the straight edges and modern architecture of the exterior told me that this was not the place I was looking for. I pictured in my mind $10 plates, 10 minute waits, 10% tips, and really nice red tablecloths. As I turned my head to enter Jimmy Johns though, something caught my eye. It was a dirty little foodcart, and from the looks of it, serving chinese food. The interesting was, it was serving right outside the upscale XO restaurant. Out of the impression that this was Chinese competition directly undercutting the XO dynasty, I crossed the street to find out. It turns out it was XO itself. I met a short man who called himself General Tso (what an honor) and told me that for $4 I could have two of anything I wanted and for $6 I could have three of anything I wanted. He spoke my language- and in a minute I was loaded up and heading back to the offices happy. I think it was a bold move of XO to support the message that the “customer is king.” I mean, a potential customer went from “no thanks.” to “serve me up.” That’s important. They paid for their look, probably deeply, but they were forgo it to reach more customers. Sure it was a profit decision, but it spoke to their willingness to bend down and meet the needs of a changing GR market, even if it meant a different price point (and food quality) that they might have preferred. I was reminded of this sweet Chinese song: Lucky Dragons – Complement Song

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