The other day, I was talking to a friend about a summer party they were planning. They decided that rather than having hamburgers due to the cost of beef, they thought it would be better if they created those miniature hamburgers we call sliders. This way they could load them up with other things such as a piece of lettuce, pickles, tomato, and other toppings which didn’t cost is much. In fact, a couple of sliders and they might be able to fill someone up. Whereas, an entire half or 1/3 pound of hamburger per patty might run the party into the poor house.
There was a very telling article in the Wall Street Journal on September 4, 2012 titled; “Beef Prices Balloon as Herd Thins – Dry Weather Has Pushed Cattle Supplies to Lowest Level in 60-years; No Relief in Sight from High Costs,” by Marshall Eckbald which noted that that wholesale beef prices are already up 10% in the last 3-weeks alone, and we ought to expect that to continue.
Perhaps, McDonald’s has the right idea, they are putting Vegetarian Quick Service restaurants in India, of course this is obviously two-fold; the Cow is a sacred animal in India, and so they can’t sell hamburgers and meat is so expensive that vegetarian makes a lot of cost saving sense in that market where the average citizen isn’t up to par with the International Monetary Fund’s key global consumer price indicator for all nations; the Big Mac.
What I’m saying to you is this; restaurants are going to have to figure out a new strategy to limit the number of items on the menu which entail beef products. If restaurants get to chintzy on the size of the helpings, consumers and restaurant goers will get angry. However, if they use the slider strategy, as my friend wishes to do for the party, then they may keep everyone happy without being overrun with costs.
Also, promoting a healthier menu with more vegetables, salads, soups, and other dishes might be a smart way to go, as it is also trendy. So many items on the menu of any given restaurant include beef products and it is going to be hard for some restaurants to stay in the game and compete as these prices rise. Perhaps they need stronger and more filling side dishes prior to delivering the main course with the beef, and cut down on the size of the entr,�e platter.
Unfortunately, if they cut too much, customers will complain, and unhappy customers do not refer additional clientele to come your restaurant. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.