Lockedcustomers wanting samples of my bbq

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stevencarry
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/27 02:57:46 (permalink)
It's not BT, just walk down Main Street USA (Fourth St San Rafael,Ca home of American Graffiti and Francis Ford Coppola) and you will be offered a slice of Amici's East Coast Pizza, enjoy on your walk back to Green Valley. And I am sure you will be visiting them in Mission Bay when you return home.
#61
drsmoke02
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/27 08:35:42 (permalink)
The cost is not the problem,in my original post i said when people ask for samples we always comply,it's when it gets busy it becomes a problem. you can't put pulled pork or beef briskit out on a sample tray as they would get cold and start to dry out,so a waitstaff has to go to the kitchen,get a line cook to put a piece in a cup,server returns sample.might not sound like much,but it's time consuming as heck,especially when you got a lunch or dinner rush.

How is it i've been made out as some ogre,that hates people? Wether it's samples or bathrooms i'm trying to do whats right by my paying customers!
#62
blizzardstormus
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/02/27 20:57:53 (permalink)
Drsmoke,
All of the topics you have asked about are legitimate exasperating problems faced by most if not all restaurants. I have dealt with these same problems for the last 4 years of owning my restaurant. I think that the answer for most of these situations can be found by asking yourself ONE question- DO I NEED REPEAT CUSTOMERS TO SURVIVE?
Your answer to this question will determine your approach to resolving the restroom dilemma, the free samples, & the myriad of other frustrating situations in this business.
You very well may not depend on consistent repeat business. It sounds as if you have a high volume of traffic daily. I, on the other hand, run a restaurant in a small rural community 10 miles away from I-80. I NEED every possible customer I can grab to survive on a daily basis. Any potential customer that is dissatisfied with my service WILL NOT return and will assuredly tell 10 others about the HORRID treatment they received. Fair or unfair, this is the reality that most of us face.
I resolve these situations with 2 simple rules 1) The customer is always right & 2) When the customer is wrong, refer to rule 1.

On my menu I list the top ten reasons for eating at my establishment. The #1 reason: SATISFACTION GUARANTEED.
#63
davidsbest
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/03/07 09:19:10 (permalink)
We give out samples of our BBQ if anyone questions its taste or has never had it and orders other foods off the menu. We want to give them a reason to order it and/or come back to order it. It ALWAYS pays back in the end - advertising AND good will. Too much bad BBQ out there and we have to prove ours is worthy.
#64
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/03/07 09:45:16 (permalink)
My opinion is that samples should be handled by management. We should be better at selling and promoting than servers. Sample requests should be relayed to management who collects the sample and then delivers it. "Would you like a pound of Q to take home?, how about a side ordeer?"

I am a salesman. A request for a sample is an opportunity. Four out of five times I'll sell something extra when asked for a sample.
#65
prisonchef
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/03/07 19:26:43 (permalink)
ok,
there is one sample we consistantly give out and it has increased both our sales and the manufacturers. we give out samples of pellets. now i know this sounds strange but follow the bouncing ball. we have an FEC100 smoker that runs on pellets. after much experimentation i found that the wood blend produced by bbqr's delite was the most suitable both in contest and commercial mode for our use and stated so in two bbq forums (my exact words being "we will use no other"). while placing an order the manufacturer asked if we would be interested in giving out samples and displaying their banner. while we recieve no payment for this it has resulted in a rather interesting symbiotic relationship. people see the free samples and come up to get them. my wife then gives a short description of how to use them. normally she gets asked a technical question at which time she calls for me (she keeps me in the back as she says i am too much like garth blackstock on the pbs chef series) and i answer whatever it is. upshot is 90% of the time they buy at least a sandwich and then peg asks if they would like a taster of brisket and lets them know we were number 2 at the state bbq championships (by the way brisket is our big profit item and by the pound goes for 12 bucks) again in 50% of the cases we sell at least 8 oz. so while we never hand out bbq samples we do use samples to increase our sales and the sales of our pellet manufacturer.
jack
#66
Maynerd
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/03/16 15:40:20 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by Bushie

At Louie Mueller's in Taylor, TX, they have always given "samples" of their brisket to those in line. When it's your time to order, Bobby takes a tray, covers it with butcher paper, then cuts off a chunk of brisket (usually a burnt end) and slaps it on the tray.

Nice, and it is one of their "signatures".


Exactly, and I'm sure those samples spur sales of meats that were not originally going to be ordered. Worked on me!
#67
Raine
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/10 20:20:51 (permalink)
We get asked all the time for samples of our bbq, brisket, slaw and sauce. I have never heard of asking for samples in a restaurant until we started one.
#68
Sundancer7
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/10 20:45:27 (permalink)
Bushie took RickF and myself to a huge BBQ place east of round rock about 20 miles and they give samples to every customer every time they come through whether they ask or not. Real good practice as far as I am concerned. It made me order more than I would have originally.

Bushie informed me that they had been doing it for years.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#69
Raine
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/10 20:54:51 (permalink)
We get asked for samples, because there is so much bad bbq around.
Just about everyone who eats it or samples it, says it is the best bbq they have ever eaten. We hear that everyday.

Some even thank us for saving them a drive to Lexington.
#70
Sundancer7
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/10 21:06:50 (permalink)
Raine: Where are you located in Charlotte. I get through there pretty often. I think V960 is located near there.

Personally I have driven many miles for good BBQ.

Paul E. Smith
knoxville, TN
#71
Raine
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/10 21:16:34 (permalink)
Located just a few miles outside Charlotte in Indian Trail. Would love for y'all to stop in.

633 Indian Trail Rd S
Indian Trail, NC
704-821-6958

Closed Sun & Mon
Tue & Wed 11-3
Thur-Sat 11-8

Buffet from 11-2 a & 5-8
#72
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/11 10:12:17 (permalink)
Raine,
I'm coming to eat at your place. I am a Charoltte native but havee moved to the Kannapolis area. I usually go east on 152 to Wadesboro but will make an exception.

Better be good to suffer Charlotte traffic...just joking...but only a little bit. What is your recommended first lunch at your place?
#73
Sundancer7
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/11 10:44:06 (permalink)
Raine: I have been very close to your place several times on my return trip back to Knoxville VIA 74E from Fayetteville, NC. Traffice and red lights are usually horrendous late in the evening on 74 I recall passing Indian Trail Rd.

Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN
#74
Raine
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/11 14:42:18 (permalink)
V960

BBQ plate with red/bbq slaw and baked beans or a bbq potato.
#75
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/12 09:28:56 (permalink)
BBQ potato? What the devil is that? Do you put in the pit? They do that in Memphis. Just curious.
#76
Burgerman1
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/12 10:37:18 (permalink)
Back to the orignial quesiton. Why would it take any longer or be more of a hassle to get a sample of BBQ than it would take to do anything else?? Just curious, we get the same thing and it doesn't seem to be a problem and the cost is figured in as a part of the pig cost.
#77
Raine
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/12 14:40:44 (permalink)


A baked potato, with your choice of bbq, brisket, chicken.

quote:
Originally posted by V960

BBQ potato? What the devil is that? Do you put in the pit? They do that in Memphis. Just curious.
#78
mayor al
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/12 15:23:51 (permalink)

Many BBQ places we have visited put large Potatoes into the pit to smoke them just like the meat. Buy'em plain and soak'em with whatever sauce you desire or pay extra for the toppings like the one in the photo above.
#79
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/13 07:46:15 (permalink)
I think the potato alone will be fine for lunch. Good looking tater.
#80
prisonchef
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/13 17:02:58 (permalink)
i think what keeps throwing me off is the idea that it perfectly acceptable to ask for bbq samples. after working in several "white linen" places this was never even a problem and is in fact a non-issue yet from what i have gleaned from this thread it is more than acceptable to ask for samples of bbq.
can someone please explain to me why this is?!
as a customer i would never ask for a sample no matter what the cuisine.
as an owner i find it amazing and while i would never be rude enough to say it as far as i am concerned a reflection of the persons upbringing or at the very least a lack of social graces and an understanding of social conventions in the united states.
it smacks of the haggling found in third world countries.
just my opinion.
#81
roossy90
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/13 21:43:23 (permalink)
It's like saying, "Excuse me, But may I have a sample of the Lobster Thermidor, and the Bananas Foster, and maybe some Arugula Salad?....
I think that because so many grocery stores and deli's let you "sample" a slice of something you are "potentially" buying, some people have just got into the habit that is it ok to do it anywhere.

(My own personal opinion on this)
#82
Raine
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/14 14:40:50 (permalink)
neither have we ever heard anyone ask for samples in any other restaurant we've been in, including bbq joints.

Maybe, we will start giving it a shot when we go out to eat.

We had a lady, who ordered the buffet, and then only wanted to pay for a sandwich.

She made a sandwich using the yeast rolls we put on the buffet, and she had a little of the baked beans. When she was paying she said there was nothing on the buffet she liked, as she was a very picky eater. And she wasn't a little person either. I asked her out of: mac & cheese, green beans, baked beans, fried apples, potato sald, white slaw, bbq slaw, bbq, smoked chicken and bbq chicken you couldn't find anything you liked?

Question to self? If I were a finicky why would I order a buffet (where I can at least see the food)? And order from a buffet that didn't have anything I liked?
#83
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/19 09:01:06 (permalink)
The problem and joy of BBQ is that unlike bananas foster or any number of other dishes BBQ is a secret. Raine...please publish your sauce recipe. Yea, right.

I am a true PIA for workers as I won't buy the buffet unless I can see it and look it over. In a new BBQ place I will delay ordering until I have seen and smelled (pardon me, may I smell your plate comes to my mind's eye...just joking) what is served. One out of five times in a new (to me) BBQ place I will drop a dollar bill on the table and walk out before ordering.

I violated my instincts when visiting Flip's in Wilmington, NC. Everything felt bad. Most folks had a regular meat and two lunch (not a good sign for a BBQ place) but the place was written up in Jim Early's book Tarheel BBQ (worst book on NC BBQ ever written) and the waitress was a future Playboy Playmate. Worst BBQ I've ever had...actually tough roast pork w/ brown gravy.

I have seen people ask for samples at Lex #1. The sample is a scoop of chopped Q w/ hush puppies. The asker usually orders much more than usual and everyone is happy.
#84
damon2
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/04/20 13:29:04 (permalink)
I often have customers ask about our chili, or one of our soups..I always let them have a taste of it..much rather they try it and then decide then get it and not like it.
#85
Pat T Hat
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/05/03 21:09:47 (permalink)
I could not read all the posts before my nature took hold and propelled me to respond. If this base has already been covered, oh well. Samples are a good idea in that BBQ is in some areas of both geography and mental state of mind, practically a religious experience. If not a religion it very self!" />Some 'ol boys (& ladies) got to see whatcha' got, before they git! A purist just wants a free sample, he's going to buy anyway. Ah bull! Of course, Everybody wants a free sample! I've seen the sample thing in all types of food (chili, gumbo, almost anything with heat, popcorn, ice cream...). If you don't want to do it that is most understandable. I you do, maybe you could cut back on the hassle by keeping a crock or something by the wait station. Good place for those ends and scraps. Just make sure the help doesn't get caught licking their fingers! By the way I just got done smokin' a heap of western ribs with a slather of apple butter jerk! Guy next door was cutting his field and smelled the aroma of something good going on. After hem hawin' around a bit he asked for a "sample". Last I seen he was lickin' his fingers too.
#86
-Tricky-
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/05/04 09:49:39 (permalink)
quote:
Originally posted by damon2

I often have customers ask about our chili, or one of our soups..I always let them have a taste of it..much rather they try it and then decide then get it and not like it.


My thing is that you probably offer the sample. Where do people get off thinking that they should get anything for free? Why should they think "I want a taste of that, free." It's arrogance.

You want it, you pay for it. If a staff member offers you a complimentary sample, you accept it. But to expect, and then request, something for free? Who does that?
#87
V960
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/05/12 08:53:36 (permalink)
I was at Allen & Sons in Chapel Hill last evening. Fellow strolls in and asked for a sample...just off the shoulder...no sauce...not chopped. I thought of this thread and waited to see what would happen since Allen & Sons is well known and for sure doesn't need to give out samples.

They took the guy back into the kitchen and then the pit. Pulled off at least a dozen samples for the guy...some w/ sauce...some w/ slaw...made a mini sandwich for him...never asked how much or why he was asking. These are people proud of their product.

Guy placed a once a month catering order for sixty people at his plant thirty miles from Chapel Hill. Sure not scientific but made my heart feel good.
#88
pcdiva
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/05/12 11:28:04 (permalink)
My favorite greasy spoon is under new management. (says it's a BBQ place and family dining more on that later) New owner comes up to couple having sandwiches and asked if they tried his soups. They say they had a salad instead, so he comes back with little bowls of 2 of the 3 soups that were on the menu yesterday. I already was enjoying a big bowl of the homemade potato soup while this exchange was happening. When I was leaving, he asked me if I liked crab salad because it was going to be the special today. Since I do, I'll probably be in there tonight. Hope there's some left for me to at least try!

(BBQ is just baked meat with sauce, but what do you expect in Ann Arbor MI? Sauce is pretty good, but no Roadhouse!)
#89
jlaurette
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RE: customers wanting samples of my bbq 2006/08/17 18:54:41 (permalink)
I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to chime in. I also think it is the height of rudeness to expect something for nothing. It is completely different if the owner is offering something to introduce a product(as Dr. Smoke says he does). I was so intrigued by some of the attacks on Dr. Smoke, that I decided to make the trip up to eat at Chubby's. I live in Kensington, just outside of Washington DC. I have to say this was delicious BBQ. Everything we ordered, plates, sides, sandwiches including an enormous sub that my son had was exceptional. Mac n cheese was good too, along with great fries and wonderful homemade chips that came in little baggies, which kept them from getting soggy. All the sauces on the table were yummy...I couldn't pick a favorite.

Definitely going back to Chubby's! Keep up the good work, Dr. Smoke!

Joan
#90
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