In my opinion, samples are a good thing. From Costco to the farmer’s market, I am constantly being offered samples, and usually, if I like what I taste, I will buy the product. And it’s almost always something I wouldn’t have bought if I hadn’t tried it first. An example is the Baltimore Farmer’s Market…this past summer, I was avoiding the yellow-colored cherry tomatoes (Sungold? I think…) A proprietor saw me eyeing his tomatoes, asked me if I wanted to buy, and I kind of hemmed and hawed, not knowing which variety would be best. I told him I wanted a very sweet variety, and he gave me a taste of his product. It tasted soooo good, and that was that. Every week thereafter, I bought a few baskets of his yummy tomatoes. (there were many other stands there, but I wanted to be loyal to that friendly farmer) From that one taste, I bought bags and bags of tomatoes. You tell me: was it worth it to him to give me a taste?!
Mind you, I don’t generally ask for samples, except at ice cream shops, and that’s only to make my decision on which one to buy. But when someone offers a sample, I automatically think it must be a pretty good product (why would a restaurant offer a sample of something yucky?) and I get sort of excited. Obviously, this strategy will backfire if the product is sub-par.
If I were in Chubby’s, planning to order, and wasn’t sure what to get, a small nibble might help me decide. I wouldn’t expect it, but I’d be tickled if it were offered. This is the type of stuff that separates truly exceptional establishments from the run-of-the-mill stuff.
Incidentally, a bar I frequent gives samples of beers, etc, to help the customer decide. They don’t HAVE to do this, but it helps them sell their more exotic ($$$) products.
Remember, penny wise often equals pound foolish!
The Travelin Man
My favorite restaurant in all the land, Katz’s Deli in NYC gives out free samples to everyone who places an order. Schmoozing with the "cutter" (and an extra buck in the tip jar) will usually get you a few more slices to sample. I have been there a number of times, and every time I go, I convnice myself that I am not going to get the corned beef (which I love) and I am going to order the pastrami. So, the last time I was there, I asked the cutter which looked better, the pastrami or the corned beef? He cut me off a few slices of both to try. Of course, he then told me that even though no one ever believes him, the best sandwich meat that they offer is the beef brisket — and promptly cut me off a few hacks of that, as well. I still went with the corned beef (it was just TOO good), but grabbed a brisket sandwich to go.
Moral of the story, the cutter "sold" me an extra sandwich by offering up the sample. I cannot imagine I am unique in that regard.
my standard response to the free sample thing is "when, sonny’s,woody’s and bono’s give samples so will i". our venue is a farmers market and you will get killed giving out free samples. the only exception to this rule is when someone can’t decide between the pork or brisket. my wife found if i gave a sample of each we always made a sale one way or the other and sometimes they bought both. at my venue when it gets near closing i have had people (and lord being an old indiana boy every last one of them were yankees) give me a line along this "since it’s near closing i will give you half price" standard response goes "i got 2 greyhounds. one weighs 98 pounds and my little girl one weighs 65 pounds. i will feed them the left overs. but wait that’s harsh so if you successfully answer this one question i will give you all you want for free!!! the question is this "for the last 30 mins you work for your employeer do you do it for free??!!" so far no one has won the prize!!! [:o)]
I tend to think samples of EVERYTHING possible should be given w/o being asked. I am a terriblly over the top showman who gladhands the front and carries (actually carried, we sold the place) samples about.
"Care to try the sweetbreads?"
"Small sample of pate?"
"A bite of filet before your duck?"
"Braisd leeks are a bit different…want a try?"
I admit to being a PIA…ask my wife…but it is not just about adjusting the coke dispenser or getting an extra quarter for ice.
Most if not ALL Q chefs take great pride in their product and delight in the results giving a "taste" brings. One uncomparable delight of having a friend who is a "Q" chef is sneaking chunks of "Burnt ends" while conversing, it kind of wyhts the appetite for the platter to come.. I think giving samples to EVERY customer would be a hassle and a bit costly in the short run (depending on response) but 3-4 samples a week? 3-4 a day, to me, shows interest and personally when the reply for a "taste" request is a happily given chunk of sweet Q with the chef waiting expectintly for a response, tells me I’m in for some good eats…
Just set a tray of small samples on a toothpick in front of the line and let people sample. Great marketing. Do it just like they do at Sam’s club. If they want a sample let em. If they like it they’ll order. Then the word of mouth kicks in. JMHO
I dont think I would go with that sign Dr.Smoke but I would follow them out the restaurant and tell them that unless they are buying something dont use the Bathrooms.I had a woman who came in off the street just as nasty as could be ,use my bathroom and walk out,when she was walking out the door the back of her jean were all ripped out exposing her a**,In front of my customers.Now I wanted to follow her out and tell the scuzzy thing but I let it go.I am on a busy highway myself but I dont get a lot of those types who pull in for the john.
Please stop "shouting". All caps is not good form.
I’m there. Not a bad afternoons drive from Annapolis, and a good excuse to spend some time in Gettysburg. I won’t beg any samples, and I’ll try not to spill anything, but I may need to use the facilities.
Vayo con Queso
Err, it’s a bit unclear to me….drsmoke…is your place Chubby’s Southern Style Barbeque?
I LOOK FORWARD TO MEETING ONE AND ALL,FRANKLY I’M SORRY I DIDN’T JOIN THIS FORUM A LONG TIME AGO.THE ONLY REASON I HAVE A BBQ,INSTEAD OF A PIZZA PLACE OR THE SUCH,IS AFTER READING"ROADFOOD" IN 2001 I FELL IN LOVE WITH THE IDEA OF A WORLDCLASS BBQ. PEOPLE WHO OWN BBQ’S SEEM TO PRETTY MUCH MARCH TO THEIR OWN DRUMBEAT,I LIKE THAT.
If I hadn’t given out samples of pulled pork in my place a couple of years back these Texans around here still wouldn’t know what it was.
I’m half yankee by blood so don’t worry about it. I feel more at home at Lex and 50th than in Birmingham.
SC has a few styles of Q but the best known is the ,IMHO, disgusting mustard style. Wouldn’t feed it to my dog…even the one who growels at me.
A SC BBQ shop (Stickey Fingers) markets three or four sauces through the local grocery stores. The mustard based one always has a coating of dust on top here in NC. Maurice Bessinger ticked off so many people w/ his support of flying the Confederate battle flag at the capital that most grocery stores won’t caryy his sauce anymore.
I’ve already got your address in my "go to" book and can’t wait to try your Q. Thanks for the forum.
V960 – don’t be too hard on us notherners….it took me many years to realize the distinct and intricate differences in Eastern Carolina, vs. Lexington style bbq….I onetime said to my husband something about South Carolina que… ( and no offense to those from that great state) and he wrinkled his nose in disgust and said ugh…mustard…
finding good que up here is about as hard as finding synagogues down there….
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