Hot!Extra for lettuce?

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CCinNJ
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 00:34:44 (permalink)
The overall perception of NJ Diners is both positve & legendary.

The majority of people who frequent NJ Diners on a regular basis know that if/when a hamburger or cheeseburger include lettuce tomatoes & onions it's @ a price that's more expensive than the final price served @ Point Diner (usually between $8-$10).

Excellent Diners do a booming business around the clock & if a small minority of people become upset that the math is done in a way that makes them want to rant ....the perception most likely will be... it's not about the lettuce tomato....it's just to rant about something or anything. That's no reason to change the way things are done.
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felix4067
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 00:34:55 (permalink)
OK, Foodbme, so you're obviously way more into this than I am. Your points are valid, and I've been beaten over the head with them enough.
 
Fact remains, the OP was complaining about having to pay more for lettuce and tomato, not the wording of the menu.
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CCJPO
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 00:37:16 (permalink)
Foodbme: I like your marketing approach. My grandkids operate a produce stand in the nearest town to us during growing season w/ fruits, veggies, herbs, etc. that they ave helped grow and harvest, or sow and reap.. They learned early on that there is a price point That people will buy at, or not. So from that lesson they figured out let's throw in a freebie, i.e., buy a dozen tomatoes get a green pepper for free, or vice versa. That makes the customers happy, but more importantly the customers are repeat buyers. AND THEY TELL THEIR FRIENDS!!!!!. Yes, they eat a bit of coinage in the short run. However they make it up in volume. We are going to talk about your positive sales approach when they come home from school next weekend. Thanks much.
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Foodbme
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 00:56:00 (permalink)
felix4067
OK, Foodbme, so you're obviously way more into this than I am. Your points are valid, and I've been beaten over the head with them enough.
Fact remains, the OP was complaining about having to pay more for lettuce and tomato, not the wording of the menu.

Not to beat a ripe tomato to death, but IF restaurants would construct AND WORD their menus in such a way that the OP would not have perceived he was paying EXTRA for L-T but had the option of ordering it or not then this whole thread would have never appeared on Roadfood. The way restaurants word their menu IS EVERYTHING!!!
Every Restaurateur should strike the word "EXTRA" from their vocabulary!
Thank you for letting me make my points. Where should I send the bill?
post edited by Foodbme - 2014/04/13 01:47:12
#34
CCinNJ
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 01:12:33 (permalink)
Indeed...option to order it or not. That was afforded.

Now it's full-circle back to the option or not rather than the original notion of including it @ a higher price automatically. Lower base price satisfies the perception of a good deal for a cheeseburger by those that don't want l-t-o & may perceive their plain cheeseburger as pricey @ $8-$10...when they don't find ANY value in the l-t-o.




Case dismissed.
post edited by CCinNJ - 2014/04/13 01:34:42
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CCJPO
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 01:13:04 (permalink)
Well, my grandkids aren't going to. And as for me, I have been "stealing" worthwhile ideas for years. Anything my grands can learn to increase their profits only increases their college accounts. Except why do I keep paying to get the produce to market!!!!!! Perception is Reality.
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Foodbme
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 01:44:07 (permalink)
CCinNJ
The overall perception of NJ Diners is both positve & legendary.
The majority of people who frequent NJ Diners on a regular basis know that if/when a hamburger or cheeseburger include lettuce tomatoes & onions it's @ a price that's more expensive than the final price served @ Point Diner (usually between $8-$10).
Excellent Diners do a booming business around the clock & if a small minority of people become upset that the math is done in a way that makes them want to rant ....the perception most likely will be... it's not about the lettuce tomato....it's just to rant about something or anything. That's no reason to change the way things are done.

Having lived in Lake Mohawk, Sparta NJ for 7 years and worked in N. Bergen and NYC, I understand how the wonderful diners in NJ operate and they are unique in many ways. 
I have fond memories of dining in them and being in amazement of how they could sell so many different products, keep everything fresh and make any money, but they do.
They are marketing  AND operating geniuses!
People rant about prices weather it's Diner Food or anything else. Always have, always will.
Regardless if it's NJ diners or a mom & pop restaurant in Bad Breath MT, the secret is presenting your product AND it's price in such a way that it presents value or something extra to justify the price so that price only is not the point of focus.
And that's where the wording of the product presentation becomes so important.
Big companies spend Thousands, sometimes Millions of Dollars making sure the CONSISTANT wording of their advertising message is absolutely perfect.
A restauranteur needs to do the same.
Not spend Millions, but make sure they do the best possible marketing of their menu they can afford since many times it's the only advertising they have.  
For example, study how Denny's uses their menus to market their products.
Now, I understand 99% of the restaurants out there can't produce a menu like that but they can study how they use WORDs to sell their offerings.
A mom & pop can apply those same techniques to their food offerings in a simpler format.
There's no law that says you can't copy success. For example:
"Country-Fried Steak & Eggs
A golden-fried chopped beef steak smothered in rich
country gravy. Served with two eggs, hash browns
or grits and choice of bread."

 
Key words- Country Fried, Golden-fried, smothered in rich country gravy.
Sell the Sizzle, not the Steak
post edited by Foodbme - 2014/04/13 02:05:47
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Foodbme
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 02:03:12 (permalink)
CCJPO
Foodbme: I like your marketing approach. My grandkids operate a produce stand in the nearest town to us during growing season w/ fruits, veggies, herbs, etc. that they ave helped grow and harvest, or sow and reap.. They learned early on that there is a price point That people will buy at, or not. So from that lesson they figured out let's throw in a freebie, i.e., buy a dozen tomatoes get a green pepper for free, or vice versa. That makes the customers happy, but more importantly the customers are repeat buyers. AND THEY TELL THEIR FRIENDS!!!!!. Yes, they eat a bit of coinage in the short run. However they make it up in volume. We are going to talk about your positive sales approach when they come home from school next weekend. Thanks much.

Thank YOU for seeing something of value in what I wrote. Being a Grandfather myself I understand your desire to help your G-kids learn good business lessons and I applaud their desire to get involved in building a business and the lessons to be learned from dong it.  If they're not already doing so, I suggest they focus on the wording of any signage they may have so that it focuses on "Home-grown" and "Fresh". Make sure they're telling customers they're using the money for College if they're not already doing so.
I really have a passion for helping young people who are worth helping. I have over 60 years of sales & marketing experience and love to share it with others.
If I can help in any way, send me a PM and I'll send you my direct contact information.   
#38
Foodbme
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 02:31:35 (permalink)
CCinNJ
The overall perception of NJ Diners is both positve & legendary.
The majority of people who frequent NJ Diners on a regular basis know that if/when a hamburger or cheeseburger include lettuce tomatoes & onions it's @ a price that's more expensive than the final price served @ Point Diner (usually between $8-$10).
Excellent Diners do a booming business around the clock & if a small minority of people become upset that the math is done in a way that makes them want to rant ....the perception most likely will be... it's not about the lettuce tomato....it's just to rant about something or anything. That's no reason to change the way things are done.

That's not necessarily true. While NJ Diners are institutions, that's not to say they can't change to improve the customers perceptions of who they are in today's Competitive World. Fast Food Chains are aggressively going after the Breakfast business, staying open 24 hours at the drive in windows, etc. While their food is not as good as a Diner's, just their presence in the Diner's traditional space has to have some effect on the Diners sales.
Any business that doesn't change runs the risk of going backwards and possibly dying.
The days of "If you don't like it, lump it" are GONE.
Someone's in the wings waiting to eat your popcorn.
I worked for Sears for 20 years during their "Glory years" 1959 to 1979. 
We were the #1 Retailer in the WORLD.
They didn't change when the market changed and look where they are today.
Can you say Kmart, Polaroid, IBM, Bell Telephone, Blackberry???   
Today, traditional retailers are scrambling to compete with on-line retailers.
The cycle of change never stops.
It's actually accelerating!
Who knows, there may be Food Trucks standing where NJ Diners once stood.
Could happen!
 
post edited by Foodbme - 2014/04/13 02:33:36
#39
CCinNJ
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 02:37:36 (permalink)
I've lived here my entire life & I can tell you that excellent Diners focus on good value...giving every option available to satisfy all of their customers & have enough confidence in their excellent food & service that they don't have to frame their menu to spare feelings or provide any phantom perception of reality. They know their costs & their customers pack the place day & night.

It might be a cultural difference but this is soooo not the place to find people-pleasing in the way of sparing upset feelings because a small minority of customers are not reading or hearing something the way they'd like to hear it...when everyone who frequents Diners on a regular basis... knows the drill . That's reality & when a Diner is excellent it's not an issue...because they're always packed day & night.

This is reality. A lunch special $11.95 @ my neighborhood Diner. They have a great deal of "equity" with their customers & deserve every bit of respect to make whatever price policy about lettuce tomatoes etc.








It ain't broke & it's their business. If you don't agree with the policies or menu structure of a restaurant....you're free to move on or have a discussion with the restaurant. But the add/extra structure is common in Diners. It's been that way forever.
post edited by CCinNJ - 2014/04/13 02:46:27
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 02:42:57 (permalink)
CCJPO
Well, my grandkids aren't going to. And as for me, I have been "stealing" worthwhile ideas for years. Anything my grands can learn to increase their profits only increases their college accounts. Except why do I keep paying to get the produce to market!!!!!! Perception is Reality.

And why do we keep buying Raffle Tickets and Girl Scout Cookies from our Grandkids as well as getting our cars washed twice at the Baseball Team's car wash?
'Cuze we're grandparents, that's why!!! 
And we wouldn't have it any other way!
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Foodbme
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 02:55:19 (permalink)
CC in NJ,
North Jersey also has the luxury of having 80 Gazillion people within a very small geographic area. No one's questioning a Diner owners right to set his own pricing and business practices. With that many people to draw from, they can loose a hundred customers and not feel the effects of it in the short haul. If I had the luxury of being up there, I'd be interested to talk to a Diner owner and get their take on what they see today and in the future as it relates to their business. You must admit that the NJ Diner business is unique as it relates to the Millions of people in their market space. 
A restaurant owner in small town America does not have the luxury to tell a customer to take their business elsewhere if they don't like their prices.
post edited by Foodbme - 2014/04/13 02:58:28
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Foodbme
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 03:01:33 (permalink)
CCinNJ
Indeed...option to order it or not. That was afforded.
Now it's full-circle back to the option or not rather than the original notion of including it @ a higher price automatically. Lower base price satisfies the perception of a good deal for a cheeseburger by those that don't want l-t-o & may perceive their plain cheeseburger as pricey @ $8-$10...when they don't find ANY value in the l-t-o.
Case dismissed.

Huh?????????
#43
CCinNJ
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 06:59:09 (permalink)
No one's questioning a Diner owners right to set his own pricing and business practices.

Good! This happened @ a Diner in NJ...all those factors apply... with a Diner owner setting prices & practices in such a way which is very common in the NJ Diner business now as as long as they've been in business.

In the case of my local Diner...they've been around for over 50 years. Always busy & a line out the door every Saturday & Sunday morning.

The way my Diner lists...

Certified Angus Beefburgers
Deluxe Served With French Fries, Lettuce, Tomato, Cole Slaw And A Pickle, Substitute Onion Rings For French Fries Add $1.75, Add $0.90 For Extra Cheese, Add $1.20 For Extra Bacon

Beef Burger

Deluxe$8.45
Regular$6.05

Cheeseburger

Deluxe$8.95
Regular$6.50




IF restaurants would construct AND WORD their menus in such a way that the OP would not have perceived he was paying EXTRA for L-T but had the option of ordering it or not...



The menu reads

Cheeseburger $5.99 (menu on Urbanspoon reads $6.25) with the option to add lettuce tomato & onion $1.00

Option for those who don't want l-t-o - a Cheeseburger of their choice $5.99

Option for those who want l-t-o - Cheeseburger $5.99 with lettuce $1.00 = $6.99.

Perception may vary for any/every person but every option is there...

Reality is...still less expensive than other Diners (Malibu Diner & Tops) where it's a package deal standard...$8.25 & $9.95.

That's what matters to most people here...bottom-line. No need to write or construct things in such a way a handful of people "feel better" while knowing it's more expensive @ the end of the day.

Unlike the structure of other restaurants...the entire Diner menu is available at all times. People pick & choose exactly what they want...how they want it...(often from more than one section) & the math is set-up to accommodate that way of ordering...without any surprises...prices & substitution policies are all there in black & white.

That's why Waffle House gives a base price for hashbrowns ...& options for every additional individual "action" add (for example) $.35 extra for capped... topped etc.
post edited by CCinNJ - 2014/04/13 11:12:09
#44
easydoesit
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 07:29:29 (permalink)
We have a local drive-in here with the usual basic menu, burgers, chicken sands, etc.  They charge 25 cents for onions, raw or fried, and they are generous with the amount.  They charge 60 cents for the rabbit food  -- lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and again are generous with amount.
 
But I can both agree and disagree with Foodme.  For one thing, it surely is very much about perception.  Some of the best marketing advice I ever heard was a story about an experienced person in a candy store training a new employee.
 
She was explaining how to fill a container with loose product (popcorn, candy, etc) if done in front of the customer.  She said never overfill to the point where you have to take some out, as the customer will feel like he is losing something.
 
Instead, fill it a little short so you have to add some more, and the customer will feel like he is getting something extra.
 
And give the customer a personal smile when you do it, 'cause that's where your tip is at.
 
I found the same concept very useful over the years when dealing with others, co-workers or customers.
 
But also can disagree with Foodbme when he asked about being handed a small menu with some misspelled words -- I wouldn't be offended -- I'd think I was in a Roadfood place! 
 
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easydoesit
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 07:40:16 (permalink)
Not really related to paying extra, but to the timing of homogenizing in America...
 
Growing up in Minnesota/Wisconsin during the 50's and 60's, I well remember when almost all the menus would offer the lettuce and tomato (for an extra price) as a "California" burger.
 
So -- Remember the old series Happy Days, taking place in Milwaukee during that same time frame.  One time the kids took a trip to California (this is when Fonzie famously "jumped the shark.")
 
They came home and were telling restaurant owner Al about their adventures.  His main interest, of course, was the food, and I remember him walking away muttering to himself, "Lettuce and tomato on a hamburger -- what will they think of next?"
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easydoesit
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 08:05:19 (permalink)
And by coincidence I found this local place still calling it that.  I guess the avocado mayo could belong on a "California burger", but isn't provolone more like a East Coast Cheese?
 
http://www.javavinolax.com/splash.html
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MellowRoast
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 17:38:31 (permalink)
.
post edited by MellowRoast - 2014/04/13 17:40:11
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/13 20:42:33 (permalink)
easydoesit

And by coincidence I found this local place still calling it that.  I guess the avocado mayo could belong on a "California burger", but isn't provolone more like a East Coast Cheese?

http://www.javavinolax.com/splash.html

Interesting. What they refer to as "Plain Jane" Burger I would think of as Cheeseburger-Deluxe.
post edited by plb - 2014/04/13 20:43:57
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/04/15 11:15:01 (permalink)
This thread reminded me of years ago when they used to charge extra if you ordered Bleu Cheese Salad Dressing.
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/06/23 20:28:13 (permalink)
Foodbme, I want to apologize for my lateness in getting back to you. I was banned for a month for getting in a urination contest with a long time poster/ trip reporter from the northeast, a meandering plant, if you will. Apparently one is not supposed to do that. That being said, several weeks after your marketing posts, the grandkids and I were able to sit down and discuss your information for their produce stand/farmers market plans for the 2014 season. During the school year they live in town, about 60 miles from where we live, with my beautiful bride in order that they may fully participate in school and community activities. They liked the idea of making people aware of what their goal was, i.e. primarily earning money for college. Not that they are abject to earning a bit of personal fun money. The got on the computer and designed some new signage.  They then decided to look into increasing their product line. They though that early lettuces and other greens might be an option. They did the research, visited some local growers and gathered information.. While they determined that Nevada is not the optimal area for spring crops, the did discover hoop houses. Again more research was needed. Which they did. They were also told that while Grandpa wasn't going to fork out any coinage for materials they were free to utilize anything around the ranch that I didn't need, was fair game. I sort of fibbed on that one, but isn't that what we are here for. After they scavanged around the out buildings, they found enough materials to build  two 10 X 15 hoop houses minus the 10 mil plastic sheeting needed to cover them, as well as seed and plants. I fronted them the money for that. Although they did have to pay for me to drive to town to pick it up, as well as give me a % of any additional revenue the earned from their new project. I did, however build the damn things for them. I did learn a great deal about how much heat was necessary to in order to get PVC pipe to bend into the right shape, and not burn it. Lesson learned. We got that project done and planted. They also thought that it might be a good idea to bring some piglets and baby lambs, a calf, some chicks and ducks, sort of a mini petting zoo to the markets as a magnet for the kids. They also continued with their idea of giving something for free with a purchase of X amount. That will prove to be a better idea later in the season when the later arriving produce comes in. However it will keep people coming back. Thus far this season, 6 markets, two of which were cut short due to high winds, they have seen a gross profit of 25 % over last years numbers, net has been 10% during the same time period. That includes the 8 dollars they have to pay me now for gas and my percentage. Although I am saving that, perhaps I will give it back to them at the end of the year. Or at least put it in their college fund. I don't need the money. I guess it is more of a life lesson thing. The biggest plus was that they both earned A grades on reports they did for school. Again, thank you for your posts and advice. It was much appreciated by all.
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Foodbme
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/06/23 21:29:14 (permalink)
CCJPO

Foodbme, I want to apologize for my lateness in getting back to you. I was banned for a month for getting in a urination contest with a long time poster/ trip reporter from the northeast, a meandering plant, if you will. Apparently one is not supposed to do that. That being said, several weeks after your marketing posts, the grandkids and I were able to sit down and discuss your information for their produce stand/farmers market plans for the 2014 season. During the school year they live in town, about 60 miles from where we live, with my beautiful bride in order that they may fully participate in school and community activities. They liked the idea of making people aware of what their goal was, i.e. primarily earning money for college. Not that they are abject to earning a bit of personal fun money. The got on the computer and designed some new signage.  They then decided to look into increasing their product line. They though that early lettuces and other greens might be an option. They did the research, visited some local growers and gathered information.. While they determined that Nevada is not the optimal area for spring crops, the did discover hoop houses. Again more research was needed. Which they did. They were also told that while Grandpa wasn't going to fork out any coinage for materials they were free to utilize anything around the ranch that I didn't need, was fair game. I sort of fibbed on that one, but isn't that what we are here for. After they scavanged around the out buildings, they found enough materials to build  two 10 X 15 hoop houses minus the 10 mil plastic sheeting needed to cover them, as well as seed and plants. I fronted them the money for that. Although they did have to pay for me to drive to town to pick it up, as well as give me a % of any additional revenue the earned from their new project. I did, however build the damn things for them. I did learn a great deal about how much heat was necessary to in order to get PVC pipe to bend into the right shape, and not burn it. Lesson learned. We got that project done and planted. They also thought that it might be a good idea to bring some piglets and baby lambs, a calf, some chicks and ducks, sort of a mini petting zoo to the markets as a magnet for the kids. They also continued with their idea of giving something for free with a purchase of X amount. That will prove to be a better idea later in the season when the later arriving produce comes in. However it will keep people coming back. Thus far this season, 6 markets, two of which were cut short due to high winds, they have seen a gross profit of 25 % over last years numbers, net has been 10% during the same time period. That includes the 8 dollars they have to pay me now for gas and my percentage. Although I am saving that, perhaps I will give it back to them at the end of the year. Or at least put it in their college fund. I don't need the money. I guess it is more of a life lesson thing. The biggest plus was that they both earned A grades on reports they did for school. Again, thank you for your posts and advice. It was much appreciated by all.

I'm glad I was able to help. Great to see there are still some young people willing to apply themselves to their futures! I'll be looking for them on "Shark Tank"!
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CCJPO
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/06/23 21:43:56 (permalink)
LOL, I am the Shark Tank. They have to sell me on their ideas.  Their latest one was raising guail and chukar for fun and profit. Hell, they don't even like to gather eggs from the hen house, as the hens peck them and they think the roosters are mean. Which they are. Thanks again.
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Michael Hoffman
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/06/23 21:48:10 (permalink)
They ought to be able to sell quail and chukar for dog training. I hate to think of all the money I spent on quail over the years for that.
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CCJPO
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Re:Extra for lettuce? 2014/06/23 22:00:10 (permalink)
Mr. Hoffman, LOL. I have quail all over the place. Nobody is allowed to shoot nor trap them. I like to watch them in the early morning and early evening. Hell, I even feed and water the damn things. If I want guail for dinner I go someplace and hunt them. Chukar on the other hand are a tough bird to get. A lot of up and down the mountain/hillside to get them to flush. Sneaky and tricky fowl that they are. And even when you get them on the fly it takes a hell of a dog to retrieve them. I hate to think of the time and money I have spent on the dogs that are good for that. 
 
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