So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

P.F. Chang’s plans price hike as traffic improves – Nation’s Restaurant News

By Ron  Ruggless

2 responses to “P.F. Chang’s plans price hike as traffic improves – Nation’s Restaurant News

  1. Big Paulie May 6, 2010 at 8:55 am

    P.F. Chang’s rarely ever sells anything at their rack rate. They coupon so heavily all the time that, in March, when they suspended their coupon program, all the fickle customers of our Asian-themed (single-unit) restaurant that’d fled to Chang’s came running back. Many of them asked if we’d be running coupons “because P.F. Changs’ are so successful.” Some outright asked for 10% or 15% off of their bill “because P.F. Chang’s always does it.” Our price points are lower but then we don’t have the enormous mall rent nor the television/print advertising budget they must endure. P.F. Chang’s may seem to you like a well-run organization, but I can tell you they’ve been the death blow to hundreds of mom-and-pop Asian places across the country.

    • teleburst May 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

      Well, when I worked there, there were never coupons or discounting. In fact, I don’t remember any significant advertising (if any), at least in our market, and I’m pretty sure that they don’t even do national advertising – I know I’ve never seen an ad. In fact, the only discounting that I can remember is, right before I left 5 years ago, they handed out a few “free appetizer” cards that we as waiters were to give out to guests we liked. I’ve still got one that I never gave out (one day I’ll probably use it myself). That certainly might have changed in recent years though. Just about everyone’s doing discounting these days – even “mom and pop Asian places” with 2 for 1 entree coupons that I see in the local rag.

      Chang’s *is* a well-run operation and I know that they’ve had an impact on the mom and pops. but Chang’s isn’t WalMart. They are actually one of the smallest national chains out there (something like “only” 150 stores). They just seem like a behemoth because their stores are generally successful and busy as well as being the ONLY national Asian-themed chain to make it big. I know it sounds like I’m a big Chang’s booster and all, but “mom and pop Asian places” shouldn’t use Chang’s as an excuse for failure (especially since the food at Chang’s is mostly dumbed down Asian food). There are plenty of “mom and pop restaurants” of all stripes that have a lot more competition than a single chain (i.e. competing with multiple concepts like Chili’s, Applebee’s, O’Charley’s which often times have as many as 20 stores between the three of them in a single market). Here in Nashville, which competes with one of the busiest stores in the chain, the West End location, Asian restaurants are doing just fine, thank you very much. It’s all in how you cultivate and keep guests and how you execute your food. Oh yeah, and how you manage your resources and keep a steady business course.

      I can sympathize with the aggravation of your guests throwing your competition in your face though. that would piss me off, but more at the guest than the competition. If I were feeling cheeky, I’d probably respond, “If they are “so successful”, why in the hell are you here? Is it that our food is actually better? I guess it’s looking really good about now”. :chuckle:

      In any case, this should be good news for you. the price hike, I mean.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: