Cooking Steaks Can Make or Break Your Restaurant

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Employees, Marketing, Of Interest, Operations

Happy Birthday Susan! (She my partner and wife…it’s her birthday today)

We just finished three straight nights of birthday dinners for my wife Susan. The first night was at one of our favorite independently owned and operated Italian restaurants. The food was fantastic, but the service wasn’t good that night.

In fact it inspired the article I wrote for the January 2006 The SMART Systems’ Insider Newsletter, entitled “Five Fatal (Yet Avoidable) Service Errors – What Happens When You Let Your Servers Run Your Business into the Ground.” They were committing one of those fatal errors that evening…alternating tables instead of having assigned sections. (If you want to know more, you’ll have to wait for next months issue to arrive at your door step. If you not yet an Insider Circle Member…what are you waiting for.)

Well on Birthday Dinner night two, we went to one of those big national chain steakhouses, The Texas Roadhouse. This place is always busy and they are known for their Rib eyes.

Four out of Four adults ordered the Rib eye. To keep the story short, let me just say this, getting the two out of the four temperatures right is not a good thing. (This ain’t baseball where hitting .500 is great! ).

That’s right, two out of four steaks were not cooked as ordered. If you’re like me, you’re thinking “wait, don’t they cook steaks everyday and isn’t that what they are know for?” That’s at least what was going through my head.

Out of the two steaks that were cooked incorrectly, one was more then well done (should have been medium) and the other was almost Pittsburgh rare (that’s when the steak could actually still Mooo) when I asked for it to be medium rare.

The person eating the well done steak did not want a new steak. The reason given, “by the time you get me a new steak, the rest of the table will be finished eating.” Now I wanted my steak cooked more…

After the steak was brought back to me, sent back again and then brought back again…I finally ate it. I was amazed that it took them three tries to get my steak right and completely miss-cooked two out of four when that’s what they do…cook steaks.

They appropriately took the steaks off the bill, but disappointingly the manager never came to the table. What makes this even worse, Sue and I had a similar experience the time before. We went back expecting our last experience was an isolated incident. Many people wouldn’t even give a restaurant a first chance, let alone a second chance.

The moral of the story is, if you offer steaks do them well. Otherwise they can cost you repeat customers, cost you profits and ultimately cost you your success.

Needless to say, we won’t be going back there again. I wonder how many other customers they lost that night?

Not to just be negative, here’s a link on cooking a great steak:

Remember to keep smiling.

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