Hidden Menu ok?

Discussion in 'Professional Chefs' started by lao0, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. lao0

    lao0

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    So here at the small dine in restaurant we have in the heart of the oil boom in North Dakota me and the boss have been slowly implementing more homemade things ever since I have came back and become Restaurant manager.

    We have taken an approach were we have been ordering Rib eye Steaks ect because in our area there is neither solid steaks or solid meals and we have basically no competition with a lot of people to feed and Hungary men. So we started small and just did it for our regulars after we told them about it. Plus the slow approach is really making sure everyone is doing the steaks consistently. The word has been getting out about it and we have been getting more and more orders from people other then our regulars. 

    That being said one of our up front managers disagrees and says it is unfair because if customers walk in seeing somebody get a steak and all they see on our menu is Hamburgs it is not "fair". Even though they can totally ask about it and we would gladly cook them up one. I don't consider this a valid issue..........................

    However do any of you see an issue with this approach?
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

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    As a customer, I do consider this a valid issue. Once I've ordered my hamburger (when what I was really craving was a rib eye), and once I ate half of my burger, if I see someone on a neighboring table getting served a rib eye, if I ask a waiter and am told that yes, you can order a rib-eye but they're just not on the menu because it's some sort of "secret", you bet I'm going to be annoyed and probably will no longer come back to that restaurant. 
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2014
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  3. brianshaw

    brianshaw

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    Your manager is right: that approach will likely offend more than it pleases and could be perceived as discriminatory sales practices. A special that is a limited offer (only n available tonight) may be a better approach. Secret menus are cute but making it available to only some customers is not.
     
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  4. lao0

    lao0

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    Thank you. However if they do ask about it and want one we will defiantly serve one to them. It is a very small community but a dense one the oil boom is interesting that way. Word has spread pretty fast on them. But the issue of people seeing somone else with one that diddnt have the same opportunity is defiantly a serious issue.
     
  5. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Put it on the menu and do it properly.  You want to sell at $20 ribeye or a $9 hamburger?
     
  6. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    My thoughts exactly ! 

    What is the point of deception ? What do you stand to gain ?  I would be terribly annoyed.

    Is this some type of market test ? Will the steak be well received in your establishment ?
     
  7. rbrad

    rbrad

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    For your establishment it might be better to have a blackboard special and stop it when the product is done.In certain markets the secret menu for regulars seems to be becoming a trend and I think it might become this coming years equivalent to the pop up restaurant.
     
  8. lao0

    lao0

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    We of course want to sell the rib eye. In this boom it is very interesting. There are sooo many high paying oil field jobs up here that it is hard to compete. For hiring options we have drunks or highschoolers. We occasional get an ok person. But because of this it is very hard to train even as simple as a steak. So we uses the opportunity to train them slowly as well.
     
  9. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

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    Is the issue training or consistent supply?
    If the cook has not nailed his temps just put someone else on the steaks until he can.
    Shouldn't take long it is just a piece of meat not rocket science.
    And if the occasional order is off your average deck hand will be so darn grateful for the solid meal a simple sorry.... new cook and a couple of bucks knocked off his check will smooth things over.
    It's not like he has a lot of restaurants to choose from lol.

    mimi

    But withholding what is the equivalent of Manna from Heaven will cause resentment and ill will.
    Not just between them and you but also between the men themselves.

    Just IMO

    m.
     
  10. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Make them temp. the steak man.  Calibrate that probe and temp. it.  Every freaking time.
     
  11. meezenplaz

    meezenplaz

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    The way a cook gets good at cooking steaks quickly is to cook a LOT of steaks QUICKLY.

    You've already proven that the steak item is gonna sell. And being a small community,

    the word will be out to EVERYONE very soon anyway.

    Start gearing up, planning to keep plenty of 'em in storage (running out mid-rush is worse than

    the customer not KNOWING about them)

    Hand a temperature-taking-device to every cook and make them USE them, and have them knuckle-test them too.

    Once you cook and temp a steak 50, 60 times you get to know the "feel" and "look" and can turn them out

    more and more consistently.

    I might also add that you have a current corner on the market for yummy fresh steaks......and that absolutely

    WILL NOT last long. Once others realize you're making money with this they'll pop up nearby, likely undercut

    your price, and I guarantee they will boldly advertise it, not keep it a "secret". :)

    So perfect yours NOW, and establish yourself with all the regulars you can get.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2014
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  12. lao0

    lao0

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    Well like I said it is very wierd here. It is not as easy as to replace somone it is actually hard and belive me its not us its all the small businesses. The way the oil boom is here it makes things very complicated to hire the correct people. But luckily I have one high school kid that wants to learn so he asks questions alllll the time which I love because it allows me to talk food which is of course my passion. Steaks are externally easy I agree but belive me the people that seep down into the small business here are the ones that couldn't make it in the oil field XP. A externally different world.