Friday, April 11, 2008

The Jamba Juice Chronicles

Jamba Juice Smoothie
Earlier this week, I found out that Jamba Juice has a secret menu of smoothies and drinks they can't officially list either for legal reasons or because no respectable health-conscious business would put it on the menu. Names like "White Gummi," "Sour Patch Kid" and "Strawberry Shortcake" are just a few of the rumoured drinks, and a quick google searched confirmed that people are ordering these drinks and that they are good.

I have been avoiding Jamba since the price jump this semester, but hearing about the secret menu was enough to peak my curiosity and send me their way. Thursday afternoon I meandered over to the Jamba in our student union, excited to order this mysterious yet tantalizing "White Gummi." The clear gummi bears were always my favorite bear-shaped candy, and I was ecstatic to learn that this drink existed. I waited in line and asked the manager on duty, who was running the register, if they would make me an original size White Gummi. The manager smiled and asked me what was in it--it wasn't a menu item, but they could make substitutions. Unfortunately, I didn't know, so I changed my order to my regular: an original Matcha Green Tea.

I got home that night and searched for the recipes for these secret menu smoothies. A quick review of google revealed that the recipes were pretty simple, and many of the drinks were alterations of common favorites. Some Jamba locations even had the recipes in their registers!

The White Gummi turned out to be an alteration of the Orange Dream Machine. I printed out the recipe this morning and went on my way to class. Afterward, I beelined for Jamba Juice, hoping to beat the lunch rush. When I got there, there was a short line and the store was not at all busy. I asked the girl at the register for a White Gummi, and when she said she didn't know what that was, I showed her the recipe.

"Oh, we don't do that here."

"But it's an Orange Dream Machine with peach juice instead of orange, the sherbets instead of frozen yogurt, and fresh mango instead of soy protein."

"We don't do that here."

"But you can make substitutions..."

"No, we don't do that here."

"Oh," I said, a little embarrassed and more than a little disappointed. I left the store without ordering and went home.

I sent off an email to corporate asking about substitutions. They have been fantastic, responding very quickly (within a couple hours!) to tell me that, yes, substitutions are absolutely possible, and while they did not confirm nor deny the existence of the secret menu, they did say that team members should be happy to assist me in any substitutions.

Kudos to Jamba Juice corporate for excellent customer communication. Negative Kudos to the terse cashier who denied me my delicious White Gummi Bear delight.

I do plan on trying again sometime next week, but I will make sure to go in the afternoon when a friend of a friend is working the cash register. :)

Have any of you had any secret menu experiences? I hear that In-N-Out Burger also has a secret menu. I think it is a great idea, especially if your company takes advantage of social media to spread knowledge of the secret. I think people like feeling like they are "in the know" and somewhat elite because of it.

2 comments: to “ The Jamba Juice Chronicles

  • judgesnineteen
    4:56 PM  

    I found out that you can order a short at Starbucks. At least it explains why they seemingly named their small a tall. I wonder how many places do stuff like that...

  • Holly Grande
    7:01 PM  

    That's amazing--I am going to have to investigate that.

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