Menu Items

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nvb
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Menu Items - Thu, 05/19/05 7:13 PM
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Some of you might remember that I opened a grill in my BBQ joint back in February. Since then I've been adding and taking away products that haven't caught on. I'm having trouble with letting go of one, though. My chicken tenders.

They are tenderloins that we hand bread in my own breading. Everyone that orders them say they are the best anywhere around. Problem is they're not moving very fast and the tenderloins spoil quickly. We're only thawing enough for five orders at a time. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it doesn't.

Some of the items that I've removed were really apparent that they needed to come off because they were not moving at all or had some not so great comments.

My question is: How long do you leave an item that you really believe in on the menu?

angielynnscott
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RE: Menu Items - Fri, 05/20/05 11:54 AM
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Keep it on your menu. If you do not sell more than five orders a night thaw out only 3--2 orders. If you run out than your customer will be disapointed but yes, you have just you have just created a craving in that customer. This is the secret to a sucessfull restaurant. He/She will be back again and may even call ahead to make sure you will have an order.

aleswench
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RE: Menu Items - Fri, 05/20/05 12:36 PM
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Maybe you can create cravings for them by having a few samples out at your busiest times during the day or having a "special" on them may intice more people to order them. Once they try them, they'll know how good they are and come back for more. It's possible that your customers would absolutely love them, but know they have a good thing in what they usually order.

nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Fri, 05/20/05 10:08 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by angielynnscott

If you do not sell more than five orders a night thaw out only 3--2 orders.


Guess I wasn't clear on this. It's not five orders a day I'm worried about. It's thawing out five orders and selling any them before they spoil (about 3-4 days). I've also decided to take a picture of them and place it on the wall by the order counter. We'll see if that helps.

wheregreggeats.com
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RE: Menu Items - Fri, 05/20/05 10:42 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Slick

quote:
Originally posted by angielynnscott

If you do not sell more than five orders a night thaw out only 3--2 orders.


Guess I wasn't clear on this. It's not five orders a day I'm worried about. It's thawing out five orders and selling any them before they spoil (about 3-4 days). I've also decided to take a picture of them and place it on the wall by the order counter. We'll see if that helps.
Unless a picture is taken professionally -- with a food stylist, the result might hamper your marketing effort.

I agree. Run out and create demand. Strat at running out after two ...

FoodBully
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RE: Menu Items - Fri, 05/20/05 10:52 PM
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Maybe you could offer them as an appetizer as well as an entree. That way people can give them a try without committing their entire night's meal to an item they might be on the fence about. People tend to share appetizers and more people at the table will be giving them a try. If the tenders are as good as you say they are, the next time a customer will order the entree sized portion. Sometimes an interesting sauce paired with the tenders could persuade some customers to give them a try.

Good luck with your menu.

UncleVic
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RE: Menu Items - Sat, 05/21/05 1:26 AM
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After ya bread them, toss them on a sheet pan and stick them in the freezer.. Once frozen, take your portions and stick them in individual sealed bags (vacuum or zip lock)... Keep em frozen till an order comes thru then drop them in the deep fryer... Saves on alot of waste! May not be the "Freshest", but next best thing to it, considering they're homemade...

Oh, I mean keep them on your menu! Just suggesting a way of preserving them...





bassrocker4u2
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RE: Menu Items - Sun, 05/22/05 9:59 AM
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maybe run the tenderloins only on friday night. customers will get used to knowing they will only be available one day a week. saturday, use them in stew or soup or chicken salad. but most important, what is this particular item doing to your food cost? after all, the bottom line is what its all about.

nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Sun, 05/22/05 11:25 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by UncleVic

After ya bread them, toss them on a sheet pan and stick them in the freezer.. Once frozen, take your portions and stick them in individual sealed bags (vacuum or zip lock)... Keep em frozen till an order comes thru then drop them in the deep fryer... Saves on alot of waste! May not be the "Freshest", but next best thing to it, considering they're homemade...


I've tried this and they are just not the same product as the fresh ones, so I abandoned the idea.

quote:
Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com
Unless a picture is taken professionally -- with a food stylist, the result might hamper your marketing effort.

I agree. Run out and create demand. Strat at running out after two ...


The picture worked with my grilled chicken breasts when I first started them so, hopefully, it will work with the tenders. Create a demand? Hell, I just need to sell more than one or two a week.

quote:
Originally posted by bassrocker4u2

maybe run the tenderloins only on friday night. customers will get used to knowing they will only be available one day a week. saturday, use them in stew or soup or chicken salad. but most important, what is this particular item doing to your food cost? after all, the bottom line is what its all about.


It's hitting the costs aspect alright, which is why I'm wondering how long you give a product like this. And since I don't sell soups or chicken salad that's not an option.

Nemis
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RE: Menu Items - Sun, 05/22/05 12:28 PM
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Maybe have a special sign for "kids meal" of chix tenders or leftovers for the next day could be a few chopped up premade salads with tenders on top or mini chix tender sandwiches??
Good luck!!

lleechef
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RE: Menu Items - Mon, 05/23/05 3:54 AM
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Take it off the menu. Sorry, but no matter how good the dish is, if it doesn't sell (for whatever reason) take it off. I once did a summer menu with Fritto Misto on........with a lemon/garlic aioli, the dish was superb. Didn't sell. After one week I took it off and put something else in it's place. If you can't turn those tenderloins into soup or incorporate them into another dish, no matter how good they are, you're throwing product away which equals money.

zataar
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RE: Menu Items - Mon, 05/23/05 10:32 AM
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We put a wonderful flatbread from the middle east on our menu that had a spicy lamb and tomato topping. The cooks loved it, the servers loved it, the owners loved it. It had low food cost and wasn't at all labor intensive. After 3 days of not one person ordering it we gave every table a sample as an amuse bouche. Everyone gave us a big thumbs up. After 4 more days of only 1 person a day ordering it, away it went, only to return as a special every so often. Then it would sell out.

nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Mon, 05/23/05 12:24 PM
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Since I still have a bunch of them we're trying something different today. Earlier in this thread UncleVic suggested that we bread and freeze them. Since that doesn't work very well I've decided to add another step. We've taken an order and ran them through the breading, then deep fried them and put them in the freezer. Tomorrow we'll find out how they finish off. Hopefully we can preserve the batter texture which is pleasing to the eye.

That special may well be the soulution if this new method fails. Only problem with that might be that I have to buy 40 lbs of them at a time. Thanks!

UncleVic
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RE: Menu Items - Mon, 05/23/05 10:59 PM
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Though a little off season, yet if you where in Michigan, it's still cool here and may work... "Chicken Fried Tenderloin", served with a side of spuds and chicken gravy, with maybe a cole slaw side???? Just another thought...


UncleVic
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RE: Menu Items - Mon, 05/23/05 11:03 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Slick

Since I still have a bunch of them we're trying something different today. Earlier in this thread UncleVic suggested that we bread and freeze them. Since that doesn't work very well I've decided to add another step. We've taken an order and ran them through the breading, then deep fried them and put them in the freezer. Tomorrow we'll find out how they finish off. Hopefully we can preserve the batter texture which is pleasing to the eye.

That special may well be the soulution if this new method fails. Only problem with that might be that I have to buy 40 lbs of them at a time. Thanks!


Damn, ya, I ment fry them then freeze them... So you just do the re-heat in the fryer... I've done this in various restraunts with everything from Fried Chicken thru Lasagna (which was thawed then baked with extra sauce and cheese).. Still home made, yet it solves the storage problem...


nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Tue, 05/24/05 6:20 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by UncleVic


Damn, ya, I ment fry them then freeze them... So you just do the re-heat in the fryer... I've done this in various restraunts with everything from Fried Chicken thru Lasagna (which was thawed then baked with extra sauce and cheese).. Still home made, yet it solves the storage problem...


LOL
Well, it worked out very well and they are viturally the same product. This should solve the problem with spoilage. Funny thing though, we sold all five orders today. Maybe, just maybe...

Thanks for kicking this around.

Adjudicator
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RE: Menu Items - Tue, 05/24/05 6:28 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by Slick

quote:
Originally posted by UncleVic


Damn, ya, I ment fry them then freeze them... So you just do the re-heat in the fryer... I've done this in various restraunts with everything from Fried Chicken thru Lasagna (which was thawed then baked with extra sauce and cheese).. Still home made, yet it solves the storage problem...


LOL
Well, it worked out very well and they are viturally the same product. This should solve the problem with spoilage. Funny thing though, we sold all five orders today. Maybe, just maybe...

Thanks for kicking this around.


Glad to hear that this might (probably) will work. I see Vic was still confused due to that new Carl's Jr. burger add (that he DENIED viewing)... Uh Huhh... (That's not what he told me in an email mssg...)


UncleVic
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RE: Menu Items - Tue, 05/24/05 8:36 PM
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Be Nice Adjudicator...

Scallion1
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RE: Menu Items - Tue, 05/24/05 10:55 PM
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Uncle Vic,
If I ever get to Michigan, and I'm a very, very good boy, will Unca Vic show the very, very good boy how he reheats the lasagna in the deep fryer?

I'm laughing my ass off just thinking about the mess.

6star
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RE: Menu Items - Wed, 05/25/05 12:30 AM
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Hey, Scallion1.....read what Uncle Vic said again! ".....Lasagna (which was thawed then baked with extra sauce and cheese).." But I bet if you really worked on it, you could deep fry lasagna (maybe wrapped in a garlic bread dough).

UncleVic
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RE: Menu Items - Wed, 05/25/05 12:53 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by 6star

Hey, Scallion1.....read what Uncle Vic said again! ".....Lasagna (which was thawed then baked with extra sauce and cheese).." But I bet if you really worked on it, you could deep fry lasagna (maybe wrapped in a garlic bread dough).


Maybe if ya wrapped it in a large sheet of pasta???? Could be on to something here... (cook it like a Chimi).



nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Wed, 05/25/05 8:38 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by UncleVic

Maybe if ya wrapped it in a large sheet of pasta???? Could be on to something here... (cook it like a Chimi).


You could put a corn dog stick in it.


Scallion1
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RE: Menu Items - Wed, 05/25/05 9:23 AM
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Maybe you take the garlic bread, put the lasagna in it, and put the whole kit and kaboodle in a panini press.

1bbqboy
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RE: Menu Items - Wed, 05/25/05 10:50 AM
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maybe this is how St Louis toasted ravioli was invented.
Slick, are you expanding the grill to get more customers who wouldn't normally stop, or is it to give existing customers more options?
Neat discussion.

nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Wed, 05/25/05 5:20 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by bill voss

maybe this is how St Louis toasted ravioli was invented.
Slick, are you expanding the grill to get more customers who wouldn't normally stop, or is it to give existing customers more options?
Neat discussion.


Bill,
Yes and yes. This town had only one restaurant that offered a variety of foods. The other eating places are Dairy Queen, Sonic, pizza, authentic Mexican and a couple of sandwich shops. I was tired of listening to complaints about the other restaurant, and folks were wanting one where they didn't have to deal with smoking, bad manners from the staff and so on. I decided to give it to them.

The grill is not only bringing my BBQ customers in more often because of the variety, but my customer base is growing almost daily from local folks that have never been in because all I had was BBQ.

This has been great for business, but seems to presents new problems almost daily. Maybe the road will smooth out soon.

clamshell
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RE: Menu Items - Thu, 05/26/05 5:42 AM
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just so you know....you can reheat lasagna in a fryolater. Just wrap it tight with plastic wrap and then with foil. Hey I didn't think it would work either until I witnessed it myself. And so I don't go off topic....I would think you would be o.k. if you checked the tenders every day and when they start to get a little old just fry them up. You gotta have some where else you can use them. Heck...have one of your employees eat them for lunch.

angielynnscott
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RE: Menu Items - Thu, 06/2/05 11:26 AM
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This is nice.....Everyone working on one problem with humor too. I like that.

UncleVic
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RE: Menu Items - Thu, 06/2/05 11:40 AM
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quote:
Originally posted by Scallion1

Maybe you take the garlic bread, put the lasagna in it, and put the whole kit and kaboodle in a panini press.


Then put it on a stick and dip it in chocolate!

sho4go
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RE: Menu Items - Thu, 06/2/05 2:41 PM
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Hello from East Texas
We drive thru Farmersville every time we take 69/380 to visit our kids (see "grandkids") in McKinney. So where are you located in Farmersville and what are your hours. If we don't stop in on our way there, we might just gather up the brood and bring 'em back for some good eats.

Bill in East Texas

nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Thu, 06/2/05 6:21 PM
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Hi, Bill, we're in downtown. Nope that ain't on 380 like everyone thinks. From the east take Main St. {overpass) north and we're at the west end of the square. Look for the dancin' pigs. Mon - Sat from 11A - 2P and open late on Fridays til 8P. Love to have you.

dogmeat
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RE: Menu Items - Fri, 07/8/05 10:25 PM
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What are the tenderloins costing per pound? Is this product different from what you use for "normal" chicken breasts? Try offering them on top of a salad and maybe a grilled version of the appetizer so that you would have four opportunities to move the same product-fried app,grilled app,fried salad topping,grilled salad topping. The public is chicken crazy.

nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Fri, 07/8/05 10:47 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by wheregreggeats.com

Unless a picture is taken professionally -- with a food stylist, the result might hamper your marketing effort.


I took the pics and I'm no food stylist, but it seems to be paying off. Over the last month we've only lost a pound or so because of the way we're frying up the tenders. I've also made the decision to not buy breasts any longer and serve only the tenderloins.

quote:
Originally posted by dogmeat

What are the tenderloins costing per pound? Is this product different from what you use for "normal" chicken breasts? Try offering them on top of a salad and maybe a grilled version of the appetizer so that you would have four opportunities to move the same product-fried app,grilled app,fried salad topping,grilled salad topping. The public is chicken crazy.


Monday I paid $1.95 a pound and we're doing exactly as you suggest. They cook faster than the breasts and they work great on a plate or the salad. And maybe putting them on "special" with the free drink hasn't hurt, either. It's nice to not to have to throw them away


stridge
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RE: Menu Items - Sat, 07/9/05 9:40 AM
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Another thing you may want to do is change the name to someting like "chicken fingers" or "rooster ribs"

nvb
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RE: Menu Items - Sat, 07/9/05 4:38 PM
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quote:
Originally posted by stridge

Another thing you may want to do is change the name to someting like "chicken fingers" or "rooster ribs"


Chicken fingers? Maybe, but rooster ribs.

Thanks for the thought.

txtwister
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RE: Menu Items - Tue, 07/12/05 4:17 PM
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I'm glad to read that your solution is working out well - I've been in a similar situation in the past (smallish TX town cafe type setting) and trying to find "just" the right blend for any given day can (and did, in my case!) make a person crazy.

chefmichael
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RE: Menu Items - Sat, 08/13/05 9:23 PM
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A restaurent is a business. after all it's the bottom line that lets you come back and try something new.

I had a restaurent for 13 years that was very successful, and we used a gaint calkboard as a menu that i chaged as other as every week if something didn't sell. I always like to try new stuff esecially when an ingredient was in season are at a good market pric.e

I found that the only way to make it work was to take off tems that where popular but unprofiable. Then people felt as if they had to choose something else.

i had a really stong reputation and dazzling reveiw that allowed me to do this. I always offered customers a bite of something when they first sat, pates,bread, homemake butter...something.

regardless if this was a good business decision it the way I wanted to opperate so I was luckey

chefmichael