Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Grub Street)   NYC celebrity chefs increasingly make it a PITA to order one of their high-end hamburgers, primarily because they fear it would be too popular. "I saw what the Black Label burger did to the Minetta [Tavern] dining room. It just takes over"   (grubstreet.com) divider line 57
    More: Strange  
•       •       •

2488 clicks; posted to Business » on 10 Aug 2014 at 7:31 AM (40 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



57 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all
 
2014-08-10 08:09:08 AM  
Why would anyone serve the customers what they want to eat?
It's not like it's easy for a restaurant to fail.
 
2014-08-10 08:46:17 AM  
For the same reason that your favorite band hates to play your favorite song.
 
2014-08-10 08:53:51 AM  
If you pay $26 for a burger, you're an idiot
 
2014-08-10 09:05:14 AM  
They won't sell the burger because of the cheese.

Lower profits.
 
2014-08-10 09:08:20 AM  
Rich peoples problem.
 
2014-08-10 09:21:10 AM  

Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: They won't sell the burger because of the cheese.

Lower profits.


Yup.  The last thing a restaurant designed to sell $60 plates wants to do is encourage everyone to buy $20 burgers.
 
2014-08-10 10:34:09 AM  

valkore: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: They won't sell the burger because of the cheese.

Lower profits.

Yup.  The last thing a restaurant designed to sell $60 plates wants to do is encourage everyone to buy $20 burgers.


Then just don't serve $20 burgers. What kind of stupid shiat to have it available but not want people to order it?

Just don't serve the farking burger. Or you know, cry about it being popular because you can't sell enough frise salad plates for $65.
 
2014-08-10 10:49:08 AM  
That's the way to do it, really, if you're a chef.  Keeps demand and mystique high so you can charge an arm and a leg while not making burgers for the rest of your life.

I also like the dinners some chefs will have where there's no menu. You just get what the chef wants to make.

I would imagine being a chef at a restaurant stretches the patience at times and it's nice to gain a little control over your food now and then.

"I'd like the special but without the onions and tomato."
"NO! Fark!"
 
2014-08-10 12:00:46 PM  

abhorrent1: If you pay $26 for a burger, you're an idiot


This.
 
2014-08-10 01:04:17 PM  
I go to a place once and they are out of the menu item I want - OK, it happens.  I go there again and they're still out  -- they're incompetent and I won't be back.  They're not the only restaurant in town.
 
2014-08-10 01:15:15 PM  
When I was at the Apollo Grill in Easthampton, we had two menus. The lease required the restaurant to be open for lunch. It's in a building with a lot of office space and the owners were happy to see Chef Casey come in, but he was not particularly happy with doing lunch. He was focused on doing higher end dinners, and he'd done lunches with his brother's restaurants in Boston, and it's a low profit, mindless sort of work. But the space was cheap as Hells for the space, because the owners wanted a good restaurant in the building to bring folks in, and to have someone in house to do catering and the like for the businesses in the Eastworks building. It's an old factory, converted to condos, there's a grocery store, record shop, space for artists, a couple of galleries, an auction house, even a grease car conversion garage and a couple of recording studios. It's a great space, that you could quite literally not have to leave the building for weeks at a time, and still be able to wander around shops, and even have your groceries delivered. The restaurant in the building was important to the owners, so that the folks who worked in the building could have a place to go beyond the cafe at the grocery store for lunch.

Casey hated it. Not his focus. But, the break in the rent was too good to pass up, and the space is huge. So, he broke out a fairly basic lunch menu, and got up early to make sure it was stocked and ready to go.

We had a different menu for dinner than for lunch. And that meant the burgers and sandwiches weren't on it. Because folks would cheap out and go for the easy meal, and it was all about control. Price point for lunches made it possible to keep doing lunches, and still pay the staff, but dinners was where we made our money. Yeah, it would have been easy enough to throw some burgers on, but that's not what were doing.

At Christopher Grosse's joint in Phoenix, we did do burgers as well as high end dinners, and those were $26 burgers, with truffle fries and hand tossed rolls in the wood fired oven, but that was a slightly different style of place. Heck, we did mac and cheese too, albeit to order, and again toasted up in the wood fired oven again, but that was about a new take on fairly common fare. That was Christopher's thing. Casey? Not so much. He'd done lunches to Hells and back, and he had different stuff to offer for dinner, and he wanted the focus on that, so burgers were OFF the menu entirely when we opened for dinner. It's not a hard concept to have differing menus for lunch and dinner. Different crowd, different menu. Just because it's in house, doesn't mean that we want to roll it out all the time. I can cook eggs like a bastiche, but that doesn't mean I'm doing omelets at 7pm. You want 24 hour breakfast? Go someplace that offers it, but please stop trying to talk me and my staff into prepping a line to cover your particular yen, when we've got other things on our minds.
 
2014-08-10 01:27:16 PM  

RickN99: I go to a place once and they are out of the menu item I want - OK, it happens.  I go there again and they're still out  -- they're incompetent and I won't be back.  They're not the only restaurant in town.


It's not about incompetence, if you read the article. It's about control of your menu. Like an Early Bird Special--that's to get a particular clientele out and fed, and satisfied, and then you STOP SERVING THE DAMN SH*T because it's a limited time thing. It's a draw, during a particular time, and once that time is done, it's gone, baby. Wanted that particular dish, but it's too late? Then you missed it. Get in earlier next time, or consign yourself to not getting it. When the time frame is done, the makings usually go away. Off the line, Because it's a space issue. Getting them back out for someone's tardy tochis means tickets will take longer for customers who have already ordered. You keep that up, and you limit the space you have on the line for other things that you DO want to do. There is only so much space on any line, and keeping things out that you don't really need is inefficient and wasteful. And my tochis gets paid to make things run smooth and efficiently.
 
2014-08-10 01:31:28 PM  
"We pull the burger off the menu in the evenings because we want you to have a proper dinner. There's nothing wrong with ordering a great burger for dinner if that's what you want to eat, but you're not really discovering anything, either," he told Grub Street. "For a chef to cook a burger, it's not the most fun or interesting thing," says Jesse Schenker, chef at the Gander.

So let's sum that up: if you order a burger, you're a provincial, unadventurous slob with no sense of proper eating who's making the kitchen staff do stuff they'd rather not do.

Yeah, let me spend my money in an establishment that looks down its nose at me, while I help you to self-actualize.
 
2014-08-10 01:41:40 PM  

jjorsett: "We pull the burger off the menu in the evenings because we want you to have a proper dinner. There's nothing wrong with ordering a great burger for dinner if that's what you want to eat, but you're not really discovering anything, either," he told Grub Street. "For a chef to cook a burger, it's not the most fun or interesting thing," says Jesse Schenker, chef at the Gander.

So let's sum that up: if you order a burger, you're a provincial, unadventurous slob with no sense of proper eating who's making the kitchen staff do stuff they'd rather not do.

Yeah, let me spend my money in an establishment that looks down its nose at me, while I help you to self-actualize.


Then for dinner you should go somewhere that offers a burger. And you can take your sense of entitlement to get EVERYTHINGIWANTIWANTITNOWIWANTITNOWIWANTITNOW! with you. That is really the issue here. Not looking down the nose, it's about menu control. It's about a particular business model. Do you go into a ramen joint and expect a chicken salad sandwich? High end dinner joints don't want to be doing the same stuff that they do during lunch. Don't like it? Go somewhere else, and open up a table for someone who is going to whine and stamp their feet less...
 
2014-08-10 01:50:20 PM  

Jack Lambert's Missing Teeth: valkore: Jiro Dreams Of McRibs: They won't sell the burger because of the cheese.

Lower profits.

Yup.  The last thing a restaurant designed to sell $60 plates wants to do is encourage everyone to buy $20 burgers.

Then just don't serve $20 burgers. What kind of stupid shiat to have it available but not want people to order it?

Just don't serve the farking burger. Or you know, cry about it being popular because you can't sell enough frise salad plates for $65.


They don't serve the farking burger. There was an article about it.
 
2014-08-10 01:54:24 PM  
The thing is, the customer's attitude is "if I'm willing to pay for it, why won't you serve it"?  But they aren't actually willing to pay for it when "it" includes having the kitchen ready to make anything under the sun at a moment's notice.  Restaurants are about flow, a steady movement of people doing repetitive tasks.  Any change to the flow increases friction to the system, which lowers profits.  And profits for most places are pretty slim, so too much friction sinks them fast.
 
2014-08-10 02:23:46 PM  

hubiestubert: RickN99: I go to a place once and they are out of the menu item I want - OK, it happens.  I go there again and they're still out  -- they're incompetent and I won't be back.  They're not the only restaurant in town.

It's not about incompetence, if you read the article. It's about control of your menu. Like an Early Bird Special--that's to get a particular clientele out and fed, and satisfied, and then you STOP SERVING THE DAMN SH*T because it's a limited time thing. It's a draw, during a particular time, and once that time is done, it's gone, baby. Wanted that particular dish, but it's too late? Then you missed it. Get in earlier next time, or consign yourself to not getting it. When the time frame is done, the makings usually go away. Off the line, Because it's a space issue. Getting them back out for someone's tardy tochis means tickets will take longer for customers who have already ordered. You keep that up, and you limit the space you have on the line for other things that you DO want to do. There is only so much space on any line, and keeping things out that you don't really need is inefficient and wasteful. And my tochis gets paid to make things run smooth and efficiently.


Maybe it is; maybe it isn't.  Burgers at a these specific restaurants isn't the only item/place this happens. As the consumer I don't care if I didn't get the menu item because the chef was tired of making them, the profit margin wasn't big enough, they ran out of an ingredient, whatever -- it just doesn't matter.  If, on repeated trips, you can't fulfill my order I'll go someplace else.

If it's a limited, draw item, then the menu better damn well be marked -- ONLY 10 MADE DAILY! (or whatever) and not be a super-secret limited item.  Otherwise, I assume you can't run a restaurant and -- guess what -- I go somewhere that can fill my order.
 
2014-08-10 02:26:06 PM  

Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing is, the customer's attitude is "if I'm willing to pay for it, why won't you serve it"?  But they aren't actually willing to pay for it when "it" includes having the kitchen ready to make anything under the sun at a moment's notice.  Restaurants are about flow, a steady movement of people doing repetitive tasks.  Any change to the flow increases friction to the system, which lowers profits.  And profits for most places are pretty slim, so too much friction sinks them fast.


Actually, the customer's attitude is "it's on the menu, why won't you serve it?"  It's not like they're making up a dish for the chef to prepare special for them - the restaurant is advertising them.
 
2014-08-10 02:36:19 PM  

RickN99: Actually, the customer's attitude is "it's on the menu, why won't you serve it?"


I'm going out on a limb here, but it's probably for the reasons they explain on the menu. Like it says in the third sentence of the article.

I'd invite you to go to McDonald's if you can't understand that, but even they only serve breakfast until 10:30. I imagine you'd go in demanding a McGriddle at 5 pm and wonder why they won't serve it to you.
 
2014-08-10 02:41:14 PM  

hubiestubert: Then for dinner you should go somewhere that offers a burger. And you can take your sense of entitlement to get EVERYTHINGIWANTIWANTITNOWIWANTITNOWIWANTITNOW! with you. That is really the issue here. Not looking down the nose, it's about menu control. It's about a particular business model. Do you go into a ramen joint and expect a chicken salad sandwich? High end dinner joints don't want to be doing the same stuff that they do during lunch. Don't like it? Go somewhere else, and open up a table for someone who is going to whine and stamp their feet less...


Hubie, I usually agree with pretty much anything you state about the restaurant industry, as you are quite experienced and have an even-keeled demeanor...  But in this case, I have to disagree.  If the restaurant offers a burger during dinner, and then complains when a lot of people ask for the burger during dinner, and then limits the menu to make the burger even more elusive during dinner in order to allegedly control costs and as a result has even more people ask for the burger during dinner, and then loudly complains that even more people want this elusive burger and they can't quite possibly continue to operate if everyone just wanted this amazing burger...  Well, isn't that just a shifty marketing technique used to draw a crowd into the restaurant to bait-and-switch potential patrons?  Also, can a mass of ground beef actually be that transcending that it warrants this much hubris?  Not likely.
 
2014-08-10 02:44:07 PM  

valkore: Also, can a mass of ground beef actually be that transcending that it warrants this much hubris?


The suckers who mob these joints seem to think so. If you don't, take it up with them, not the restaurants.
 
2014-08-10 03:10:35 PM  

RickN99: I go somewhere that can fill my order.

Please do. Vote with your dollars, and your feet. But this isn't some super secret menu item, it's an article on places that run burgers at specific times of the day. It's just like an Early Bird Special. Or a limited lunch menu. You can't get some entree items during lunch either--at least in most places that don't have paper place mats--is that also upsetting? Is it equally upsetting when daily specials run out? Just because you want something at a particular time of the day, doesn't mean the place is going to accommodate. Again, do you expect omelets at 7pm? This is the same thing. Joints are limiting some items to specific times of the day, when their peak draw is that item perhaps, and then putting those things aside for full entrees for dinner.

valkore: Hubie, I usually agree with pretty much anything you state about the restaurant industry, as you are quite experienced and have an even-keeled demeanor...  But in this case, I have to disagree.  If the restaurant offers a burger during dinner, and then complains when a lot of people ask for the burger during dinner, and then limits the menu to make the burger even more elusive during dinner in order to allegedly control costs and as a result has even more people ask for the burger during dinner, and then loudly complains that even more people want this elusive burger and they can't quite possibly continue to operate if everyone just wanted this amazing burger...  Well, isn't that just a shifty marketing technique used to draw a crowd into the restaurant to bait-and-switch potential patrons?  Also, can a mass of ground beef actually be that transcending that it warrants this much hubris?  Not likely.


Is an Early Bird Special bait and switch? Come when the lunch menu is being served, or come early if they are only doing them as limited specials--and that is what the limited number of burgers is. It's a special item, made in limited quantities, and I do NOT ever feel bad about running out of specials, because that means we made our money back selling the dang things. I sell out of something, that means I have no food waste on that item, and I'm more than good with that.

As for "can the burger be THAT good"? That's up to the patrons to decide. At Christopher's Brassiere, we did a foie gras burger that ran into the $40 range. It was gorgeous beef, truffles and half a lobe of foie gras, with truffle fries, and the thing was damn good. It also could put your pancreas out of commission trying to process the sheer amount of fat and protein that you took in. It was an item made for bragging rights, and it was fun, but yeah, you hoped that folks got it once or twice, and then tried something else. Not because we'd go out of business doing the thing, but because we had a lot more to show off with than just bread and burger.
 
2014-08-10 03:15:07 PM  

RickN99: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: The thing is, the customer's attitude is "if I'm willing to pay for it, why won't you serve it"?  But they aren't actually willing to pay for it when "it" includes having the kitchen ready to make anything under the sun at a moment's notice.  Restaurants are about flow, a steady movement of people doing repetitive tasks.  Any change to the flow increases friction to the system, which lowers profits.  And profits for most places are pretty slim, so too much friction sinks them fast.

Actually, the customer's attitude is "it's on the menu, why won't you serve it?"  It's not like they're making up a dish for the chef to prepare special for them - the restaurant is advertising them.


If it's not on the dinner menu, there's a reason for that. Just because it's on the day menu, doesn't mean it's on the nightly menu. Again, if it's made in limited quantities for dinner service, that's a special, and you run out, you run out. In the middle of dinner service, I'm not tasking someone to make a dozen burgers because someone might want one, when I have a menu full of things that I KNOW will move--and that is the same for any special item. I'm not tasking someone to cutting more tuna, if that's the nightly special, when there is a dining room full of folks who are going to order from my regular menu.

Don't like it? Door, feet, you can do the math.
 
2014-08-10 04:22:46 PM  
Make it the most expensive entree. Offer a $50 steak? Make is a $75 burger. Call it the "I'm a dumbass" burger. If they want it, they have to stand up and announce "Im a dumbass" to the restaurant. Make it a Cash only, pay up front, no refund item.
Problem solved.
 
2014-08-10 05:14:44 PM  

jjorsett: "We pull the burger off the menu in the evenings because we want you to have a proper dinner. There's nothing wrong with ordering a great burger for dinner if that's what you want to eat, but you're not really discovering anything, either," he told Grub Street. "For a chef to cook a burger, it's not the most fun or interesting thing," says Jesse Schenker, chef at the Gander.

So let's sum that up: if you order a burger, you're a provincial, unadventurous slob with no sense of proper eating who's making the kitchen staff do stuff they'd rather not do.

Yeah, let me spend my money in an establishment that looks down its nose at me, while I help you to self-actualize.


Guess what. The owner doesn't want you there anyway. Plenty of good burgers at non fine dining establishments..
 
2014-08-10 05:16:00 PM  
As far as it not being a profit maker goes, isn't the usual solution to that to increase the price of the burger to the point where it isn't driving the profitability of the menu down? Given the problem of unwantedly high demand, I mean.

As a customer, I find the idea of it being served for lunch and not dinner to be friendlier that the limited quantity, blink and you miss it approach, but I wouldn't get angry at a restaurant for either.
 
2014-08-10 05:18:45 PM  
I have to be honest; I give a lot of leeway to great chefs. Most of them really do want to challenge our normal eating patterns and give us a new experience while also making awesome food. I wouldn't tell Kathryn Bigelow that I wanted more explosions in The Hurt Locker; I won't tell an awesome chef (off the top of my head, someone like Chef Kelly at House of Tricks, Tempe, AZ) that I want him to add burgers to his dinner menu.
 
2014-08-10 05:25:38 PM  
And don't forget to tip your server 50% because fark you that's why!
 
2014-08-10 05:50:16 PM  
As someone who runs a small business, I don't understand this at all.

This sort of "hip burger" thing is like catching lightning in a bottle in business. For no real discernable reason, your product becomes the hip thing right now. It becomes a status symbol.

Me? I'd be hiring some extra temp chefs just to do the burgers and I'd be ramping up the price and earning money. Don't like selling burgers? Prefer to make more money? Raise the farking price then. Turn your $26 burger into a $40 burger at night. You'll either turn people away and get your regulars or you'll be making some insane money while the trend lasts.

Seriously, though. A $26 burger? You know most of what makes a good burger is the supplier of the meat, right, that you could just go and find a real quality beef supplier and cook a farking burger yourself?
 
2014-08-10 06:21:50 PM  

farkeruk: Seriously, though. A $26 burger? You know most of what makes a good burger is the supplier of the meat, right, that you could just go and find a real quality beef supplier and cook a farking burger yourself?


But, but, locally slaughtered, fed only artisan grown grass, beef!!!
 
2014-08-10 06:26:20 PM  
The restaurant is a social contract of sorts. There are things that the customer can reasonably expect, and there are things that the customer can just f*ck right off about.
If the burger is printed on a menu, you serve the f*cking burger. Any well-run restaurant should be expected to serve what's on the menu. I mean, sure, you run out of things from time to time, but every time you do you're advertising that you can't do ordering and projection right.
If the burger is on the special board, you serve the burger until you feel like erasing it. Whenever possible, you serve the burger to anyone who walked past the special board while it was written there. You're supposed to run out of the specials. If you weren't, they'd call them the regulars.
If the burger is on the lunch menu, you serve the burger during lunch. If a customer wants a lunch item during dinner, they are free to ask. The kitchen is also free to tell said customer to cram it up his ass.

From a business perspective, though, these chefs are idiots. Let's say I ran a restaurant with $25 plates at lunch and $50 plates at dinner. Let's also say that my most popular menu item was a $25 burger. Customers are demanding that I serve them burgers at dinner. Assuming I have an unlimited supply of burgers, as opposed to grinding them from scraps of other menu items and the fatmeat of mouthy waitresses, I have a few options. I can add burgers to the night menu at or near the lunch price, and hope I put twice as many asses in the dining room. This would only be smart if I couldn't fill my house. Maybe I'd only do it on a Tuesday. Alternately, I could fancy up the plate. Maybe I'd serve two burgers and gold-coated fries for $50 a plate. This could be considered gauche, but if my restaurant didn't depend on an air of exclusivity, it would work ok. It's still suboptimal, because I'm taking up valuable space on the line, but one would assume that cooking burgers to order would be easier for my kitchen than the other dishes I'm plating. Faster service times lead to more table turns, and might give me license to serve some hilariously overpriced beers. It's still f*cking with my business model, but it would be throwing a bone to customers. My best option, though, is to use my menu as a weapon. Let's say that for every $50 plate, I make an average of $33. I just put that lunch burger on the dinner menu at $55. You want a burger at 9pm? Cool. I just made $45 on that plate. You don't want to pay $55 for a burger and fries? Cool. I didn't want to f*cking cook it anyway. You want one of my fancy Zebra and supermodel cheeseburgers? Show up at noon, come in on Tuesday night for burger and microbrew night, or overpay. That way nobody has any reason to complain.
 
2014-08-10 06:34:19 PM  
ITT: People who don't have restaurant business experience suggest that restaurants just charge more for dinner burgers.
 
2014-08-10 06:43:41 PM  

TopoGigo: The restaurant is a social contract of sorts. There are things that the customer can reasonably expect, and there are things that the customer can just f*ck right off about.
If the burger is printed on a menu, you serve the f*cking burger. Any well-run restaurant should be expected to serve what's on the menu. I mean, sure, you run out of things from time to time, but every time you do you're advertising that you can't do ordering and projection right.
If the burger is on the special board, you serve the burger until you feel like erasing it. Whenever possible, you serve the burger to anyone who walked past the special board while it was written there. You're supposed to run out of the specials. If you weren't, they'd call them the regulars.
If the burger is on the lunch menu, you serve the burger during lunch. If a customer wants a lunch item during dinner, they are free to ask. The kitchen is also free to tell said customer to cram it up his ass.

From a business perspective, though, these chefs are idiots. Let's say I ran a restaurant with $25 plates at lunch and $50 plates at dinner. Let's also say that my most popular menu item was a $25 burger. Customers are demanding that I serve them burgers at dinner. Assuming I have an unlimited supply of burgers, as opposed to grinding them from scraps of other menu items and the fatmeat of mouthy waitresses, I have a few options. I can add burgers to the night menu at or near the lunch price, and hope I put twice as many asses in the dining room. This would only be smart if I couldn't fill my house. Maybe I'd only do it on a Tuesday. Alternately, I could fancy up the plate. Maybe I'd serve two burgers and gold-coated fries for $50 a plate. This could be considered gauche, but if my restaurant didn't depend on an air of exclusivity, it would work ok. It's still suboptimal, because I'm taking up valuable space on the line, but one would assume that cooking burgers to order would be easier for my kitchen than the other dish ...


That's the thing about the article: our Dear Author is decrying that menus change between lunch and dinner. Or rather, explaining to the public, that menus often change between lunch and dinner. There is no burger in the menu, or it's listed as not being available after a particular hour. It's listed. It's there. People are losing they damn minds that they can't get something that they want NOW, because they KNOW that the fixin's are there, because it's there for lunch, and the late afternoon, but seem to just ignore that if it's not in the dinner menu, then it's not in the dinner menu.

I've done high end places that still serve burgers, and they price the sh*t out of them, and it's easy enough. I've worked joints that change the menu entirely from lunch to dinner. I prefer that, because it's a change of pace. It also gets the clientele in the mindset that IF they want a particular item from the day menu, then they'd best get in at that time. It puts butts in seats at a time when you want them there, and you're feeding them the easier to prepare stuff, while the poissioniere and the guy doing patisserie are doing their thing, and it allows your staff to get things ready to knock folks' socks off.

If it's on the menu, as a regular item, you make it. If it's a special, you run those sumb*tches out, and take your profit, and drive on. In the case of Chef Douglas, he had zero interest in doing sandwiches and soups all damn day long. Not why he opened his place, and he used the differing menus to control not just his costs, but expectations as well. Do you see a chicken salad sandwich on the menu? Then why would you ask for one? Do you see a burger on that menu? Then why are you asking for one?
 
2014-08-10 07:22:31 PM  

thurstonxhowell: RickN99: Actually, the customer's attitude is "it's on the menu, why won't you serve it?"

I'm going out on a limb here, but it's probably for the reasons they explain on the menu. Like it says in the third sentence of the article.

I'd invite you to go to McDonald's if you can't understand that, but even they only serve breakfast until 10:30. I imagine you'd go in demanding a McGriddle at 5 pm and wonder why they won't serve it to you.


...does McDonalds have a sign up for McGriddles at 5pm?  'Cuz if they did, you might have a point.
 
2014-08-10 07:25:01 PM  

hubiestubert: That's the thing about the article: our Dear Author is decrying that menus change between lunch and dinner. Or rather, explaining to the public, that menus often change between lunch and dinner. There is no burger in the menu, or it's listed as not being available after a particular hour. It's listed. It's there. People are losing they damn minds that they can't get something that they want NOW, because they KNOW that the fixin's are there, because it's there for lunch, and the late afternoon, but seem to just ignore that if it's not in the dinner menu, then it's not in the dinner menu.


Well, people are stupid.

I've done high end places that still serve burgers, and they price the sh*t out of them, and it's easy enough. I've worked joints that change the menu entirely from lunch to dinner. I prefer that, because it's a change of pace. It also gets the clientele in the mindset that IF they want a particular item from the day menu, then they'd best get in at that time. It puts butts in seats at a time when you want them there, and you're feeding them the easier to prepare stuff, while the poissioniere and the guy doing patisserie are doing their thing, and it allows your staff to get things ready to knock folks' socks off.


Hm. I somehow forgot all about the possibility of cannibalizing your lunch crowd. That was dumb of me.

If it's on the menu, as a regular item, you make it. If it's a special, you run those sumb*tches out, and take your profit, and drive on. In the case of Chef Douglas, he had zero interest in doing sandwiches and soups all damn day long. Not why he opened his place, and he used the differing menus to control not just his costs, but expectations as well. Do you see a chicken salad sandwich on the menu? Then why would you ask for one? Do you see a burger on that menu? Then why are you asking for one?

I mean, I understand that. At the end of the day, though, you want to serve what the customer wants to buy. If there's a way to do that without taking away from your business model, you should at least consider doing it. You can't run a restaurant solely based on chef's mood. Every menu is a compromise between what the customer wants and what the operator wants. There's a middle ground between having a one-item menu and running Happy Hubie's Egg, Porterhouse, and Chicken Nugget Emporium.
 
2014-08-10 08:10:57 PM  
I can understand wanting to maintain control over your menu but if you have a dish that's hot and its driving traffic into your restaurant you serve it,  Make it while the nights supply lasts ( and get the word out when supplies run out.) or once a week or heck once a month but serve it or potential customers will go elsewhere.


in a Industry where more business fail than succeed you need every edge you can get.
 
2014-08-10 10:00:20 PM  

valkore: Hubie, I usually agree with pretty much anything you state about the restaurant industry, as you are quite experienced and have an even-keeled demeanor... But in this case, I have to disagree. If the restaurant offers a burger during dinner, and then complains when a lot of people ask for the burger during dinner, and then limits the menu to make the burger even more elusive during dinner in order to allegedly control costs and as a result has even more people ask for the burger during dinner, and then loudly complains that even more people want this elusive burger and they can't quite possibly continue to operate if everyone just wanted this amazing burger... Well, isn't that just a shifty marketing technique used to draw a crowd into the restaurant to bait-and-switch potential patrons? Also, can a mass of ground beef actually be that transcending that it warrants this much hubris? Not likely.


They want to make burgers to go alongside their other menu items, but they don't want to turn the entire restaurant into a burger joint. They know from experience that if they put a burger on the menu, that's all anyone is ever going to order so long as they have the option to do so. In order to keep the restaurant from becoming exclusively a burger joint and themselves from being burger flippers, they have to artificially limit the amount of burgers you send out, or they're never going to get to make any other type of food again, which is a Very Bad Thing if you're a chef that likes to occasionally make new dishes.
 
2014-08-10 10:05:45 PM  
I assume this is what everyone's talking about in this thread...

img.fark.net
 
2014-08-10 10:49:15 PM  
I like Tuna Fish.
 
2014-08-10 11:10:25 PM  

Gosling: They want to make burgers to go alongside their other menu items, but they don't want to turn the entire restaurant into a burger joint.


It's really kind of irrelevant what they want, isn't it?  A restaurant is a business, not a damn art gallery.
 
2014-08-10 11:11:45 PM  

poot_rootbeer: Gosling: They want to make burgers to go alongside their other menu items, but they don't want to turn the entire restaurant into a burger joint.

It's really kind of irrelevant what they want, isn't it?  A restaurant is a business, not a damn art gallery.


Is an art gallery not a business now? When did that happen?
 
2014-08-10 11:35:07 PM  

poot_rootbeer: Gosling: They want to make burgers to go alongside their other menu items, but they don't want to turn the entire restaurant into a burger joint.

It's really kind of irrelevant what they want, isn't it?  A restaurant is a business, not a damn art gallery.


Um...I thought the Brave Pioneer spirit was to lead your business the way you want to. How dare a business chart its own business plan...

This is why chain restaurants sort of suck. They're not innovative, they follow the trends, and they follow the lowest common denominator for cuisine. Yet, even McDonalds doesn't serve breakfast all day, even though the public has expressed interest in getting a Egg McMuffins later. Mainly due to space issues in their operations. Burgers and their fixings take up space on a line. Line space is limited. You dedicate space on your line to serving sandwiches, that's less space to do other things.

Again, this is the refrain of the Veruca Salt sort of public motto of "IWANTITNOW!" And yeah, it's about as appealing as that brat.

There are plenty of joints that will serve you a burger. Go to one of them, and maybe stop kvetching that someone's business plan isn't to serve that particular item at night. Yes, I'll cry myself to sleep at the loss of revenue for not serving burgers at 8pm, and console myself with carving off a porterhouse for someone instead. Not every joint is equal. Not every joint is the same. Same as people. Go find a joint that caters to your needs, but maybe hold off on demanding that business owners cater to your every whim. Vote with your feet, vote with your dollars, and let others make their own damn decisions. Especially since you're not in their place or looking at their accounts.

Why not demand a chicken salad sammich at an ramen place? How about complaining bitterly you can't get an omelet at a BBQ joint. Read the menu, and if it doesn't have what you want, when you want it, then don't go there, or adjust your schedule accordingly if they have something you want, only at an earlier time.

...Frippin' crybabies...
 
2014-08-11 12:04:50 AM  
Cozy Burger on Astor is the best. Open 24 hours a day.
 
2014-08-11 12:34:28 AM  

hubiestubert: jjorsett: "We pull the burger off the menu in the evenings because we want you to have a proper dinner. There's nothing wrong with ordering a great burger for dinner if that's what you want to eat, but you're not really discovering anything, either," he told Grub Street. "For a chef to cook a burger, it's not the most fun or interesting thing," says Jesse Schenker, chef at the Gander.

So let's sum that up: if you order a burger, you're a provincial, unadventurous slob with no sense of proper eating who's making the kitchen staff do stuff they'd rather not do.

Yeah, let me spend my money in an establishment that looks down its nose at me, while I help you to self-actualize.

Then for dinner you should go somewhere that offers a burger. And you can take your sense of entitlement to get EVERYTHINGIWANTIWANTITNOWIWANTITNOWIWANTITNOW! with you. That is really the issue here. Not looking down the nose, it's about menu control. It's about a particular business model. Do you go into a ramen joint and expect a chicken salad sandwich? High end dinner joints don't want to be doing the same stuff that they do during lunch. Don't like it? Go somewhere else, and open up a table for someone who is going to whine and stamp their feet less...


Was I not clear? Apparently my posts need subtitles for the subtlety impaired: YES, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. SPEND YOUR MONEY WHERE YOU'RE WANTED. Hope that does it for you.
 
2014-08-11 08:24:43 AM  
Friggin' foodies.
 
2014-08-11 08:42:42 AM  

TopoGigo: The restaurant is a social contract of sorts.


Know how I know you blog on Tumblr?
 
2014-08-11 08:59:30 AM  

hubiestubert: $26 burgers


I spent a weekend this summer at Ogleby resort.
Fancy menus, horrid food.

They asked me for a review.
I told them to hire cooks that knew how to prepare food.

/If your salmon shows up so dry you want to mix it with mayo and put it in a sandwich, (the thyme was burned on top), then you're charging too much and not paying your staff enough.
//Our party of 70 was serviced by two very young teenaged busboys.
///Oh, but they have a raved about golf course, so that makes it all better, right?  not.
 
2014-08-11 09:59:05 AM  
Some people are never happy.

Hey, I bet I know what will reduce demand for a hot menu item. Why not make it harder to get and get a bunch of media buzz telling people they can't have it?
 
2014-08-11 10:00:14 AM  
I like the idea of having a dinner menu and a lunch menu. It just seems like some places thrive off of being cryptic about when their dishes are served. 

I went to this pizza place that had "pizza" in the name of the restaurant because I wanted to eat pizza, pretty crazy, right? I go in and find that they only serve pizza from Friday evening to Saturday evening. Dumbfark me made the mistake of coming in on a Wednesday and trying to order pizza.

/lame story bro
 
2014-08-11 10:18:02 AM  

vudukungfu: hubiestubert: $26 burgers

I spent a weekend this summer at Ogleby resort.
Fancy menus, horrid food.

They asked me for a review.
I told them to hire cooks that knew how to prepare food.

/If your salmon shows up so dry you want to mix it with mayo and put it in a sandwich, (the thyme was burned on top), then you're charging too much and not paying your staff enough.
//Our party of 70 was serviced by two very young teenaged busboys.
///Oh, but they have a raved about golf course, so that makes it all better, right?  not.


Resorts can be touch and go. Resorts have you by the short and curlies, because you don't exactly have a lot of other options once they got you there. Sort of like cruise lines. Cruise lines and resorts are where a lot of young cooks, and mediocre chefs, go to get some experience. Some never leave. For the most part, it's continental cuisine* that doesn't exactly challenge the senses, and served with the same flair that belongs to an updated Applebee's chef with delusions of grandeur. It's corporate cooking, and while that doesn't mean that all corporate chefs are simply looking to log in their time and get in under budget, that's the way to bet. In fairness, they are under a lot of constraints by management as well, so I cut them some slack. Some years ago, I helped open the Brasserie 40-A in Northampton, and Chef Lapinksi was fresh off the resort circuit, and it showed in the cuisine, and the expectations that he had for the place. It was spotless, he was relying on equipment that was untested, and he was doing cuisine that was not a good fit for the market--Northampton has more restaurants per capita than pretty much anywhere in the US. It's a great place for food, and the competition is fierce. Competition wasn't his middle name, and when I got tapped to go upstairs to Mulino's I took it. Resort and cruise lines are supposed to look good, and come in well under budget, and that are their watchwords. You will note I didn't say quality. There's a reason for that.

*This being said, good continental cuisine is a treat, when it's done right. It is Old Skool, and when done by folks who know how, and care, it is absolutely mind blowingly classic. It is the cuisine that set the bar, but most folks just go through the motions with it, which in fairness, is like most things. 80% of everything is crap. 10% is passable to fair. 5% is good. 3% is great, and only 2% is amazing. Be that clothing, be that movies, be that corn chips, be that BBQ. When you find something that is good, you stick with it. When you find something that is great you tell your friends. Sadly, most of the time, when you find something that is amazing, you keep it to yourself so no one else finds out about it...
 
Displayed 50 of 57 comments

First | « | 1 | 2 | » | Last | Show all

View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report