Over the Christmas break I found myself waiting in a queue for 40 minutes. For a croissant. Launched in 2012 the Lune Croissanterie makes melt in your mouth croissants.
I have no patience for queuing. So I roped in a friend, a French chef, to wait with me. I promised him the best croissants that he had ever tasted. All he had to do was wait in line with me. He was incredulous. People waiting in line. For a croissant. We finally entered the shop in Russell Street, opposite the Grand Hyatt. The “location, location, location” rule applies in retail too. I explained to him that the shop is open until 3.00pm or they sell out. Again incredulous.
Upon entering the store, he pointed out all the “inefficiencies” to me. He also wasn’t happy about waiting in line. The barista weighing the coffee shots on scales. Counter staff explaining each individual croissant (there were six) to customers. Bakers wiping excess lemon curd from each croissant. Then piping lemon curd on top. Followed by a slither of candied lemon peel positioned on top of the lemon curd with tweezers. The store was jammed with locals and tourists. We watched the show eating our croissants and drinking coffee whilst standing. There are no seats.
Make no mistake the Lune brand experience is carefully crafted. It’s built on the perception of scarcity. Available only until sold out. With scarcity comes premium pricing, the $12.00 croissant. The slow service in store creates the queue. Only being able to stand in store encourages fast turnover of customers. But not so fast that you don’t have time to upload selfies to social media.
My friend took the time to explain the state of the art equipment and its role. The production of these croissants is extraordinarily efficient. Most people standing in line would have no idea.
Herein lies the juxtaposition of the brand. Production efficiency, contrasting with manufactured scarcity. It’s an enticing concept, but it must be underpinned by quality for long term success. In the case of Lune it is. The French chef was impressed.