Sachi Ogan and Taylor Fischer strongly believe in the idea that almost everyone loves breakfast for dinner.
They are so confident in their belief that the two UCLA students are building an entire business around the principle.
The friends co-founded TACH, a pancake delivery business aimed at satisfying late-night hunger and fostering a sense of community on the Hill. Students living on the Hill can order a stack of three pancakes through TACH’s website for $7; whipped cream, syrup and butter are 50 cents extra. TACH only accepts orders during specified times, the first of which was Tuesday, Sept. 20th at 10 p.m. TACH’s next ordering period will occur Sept. 24th.
[Related: Another delivery service on the Hill]
TACH was born out of a late-night craving for Denny’s three weeks ago. Ogan said she and Fischer wanted to use Postmates to order pancakes from the Westwood eatery but were shocked at the $6 delivery price, almost as expensive as the food itself. With the dining halls closed for dinner, Fischer, a second-year applied mathematics student, and Ogan, a second-year materials science student, began brainstorming their options.
“At first it was kind of a joke, but then we started taking it a lot more seriously,” said Ogan. “Eventually it manifested itself into an actual pancake business.”
The duo decided on the name TACH, a combination of both their first names. They determined a delivery model would be best for their target market: students with late-night cravings living on the Hill who don’t want to leave their dorms for food. Using the communal kitchen in the Hitch Suites lounge, the pair spent three weeks planning their cooking locations and hours.
During the planning period, they explored which pancake flavors to cook and sell. The owners spent two days developing their own spins on recipes they found on Pinterest.
“Major Key” uses a vanilla batter mixed with chocolate chips and Oreo crumbs topped off with chocolate Oreo mousse, and “F Bplate” is a classic buttermilk pancake stuffed with cookie dough. There are also healthier options like vegan and gluten-free pancakes.
Even though the recipes are now established and the logistics are in place, Ogan said it’s difficult to find operating hours that work for both her and her business partner. To address their busy schedules, they came up with the concept of a power hour.
TACH only sells during a power hour – a one-hour period that the company advertises in advance. During the power hour, Ogan and Fischer deliver pancakes to the first 20 orders they receive.
“I think if people realize the specialness, it’ll add a sense of mystery and competitiveness,” Ogan said.
TACH relied solely on social media to advertise for the power hour. The social media advertising was effective as Ogan and Fischer received seven orders within the first three minutes of their inaugural power hour.
During the power hour, Ogan lathered the griddle with her homemade pancake batter as Fischer relayed the orders to her from across the kitchen. The aroma of butterscotch caramel mousse, iced onto a golden pancake, drew the attention of Ada Chang, a second-year civil engineering student studying in the lounge. Ogan offered her a bite of the first pancake, part of a trial batch to perfect the batter consistency.
“The butterscotch just melts in your mouth, and the pancakes are so fluffy, they don’t even need syrup,” Chang said. “It’s heavenly.”
At the end of the power hour, Ogan delicately crumbled an Oreo cookie onto her final pancake of the night and swiftly left to begin her deliveries, with Fischer already en route to dorms on the opposite side of the HIll. Ogan’s first delivery of the night, second-year microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics student Roshni Kumar, beamed at the sight of her meal.
TACH finished their first power hour with a total of eight deliveries. Although they received less than their 20-order limit, Ogan said any more orders would’ve been too much to handle for their first night of business. Fischer said even though this might not be the most lucrative move financially, making money isn’t their main goal. Rather, they want to focus on developing their business skills and bringing pancakes to the Hill.
“We’re only accepting a certain amount of orders, but we’re just starting out and don’t want too much pressure,” Fischer said.
Going forward, the pair plans to slowly scale, hire more workers and offer more power hours, Fischer said. As a student hoping to pursue the entrepreneurship minor, Fischer said TACH gives her the opportunity to run her own business.
“It was kind of a crazy idea, but it’s something fun for everyone on the Hill,” she said. “Pancakes are a pretty universal thing that make everyone happy.”