The Problem With Pork Chops (and What To Do About It)
Overcooked chops and underwhelming eating experiences can be conquered. To make the pork chop a success on the menu, let’s look at what’s holding it back.
The Myth of 160°F
Many customers refrain from ordering pork based on past disappointing experiences. The main culprit here is usually a cut overcooked for old-fashioned food safety concerns.
The USDA lists the safe cooking temperature for a pork chop as 145°F, but conventional wisdom for many customers is that like chicken, pork should have no pink in the center — the kind of cook through that ruins a perfectly good chop.
Arming your staff with the proper knowledge is vital. As the people who interact with your customers every day, they act as an extension of your passion and expert insight.
A confident server who can recommend the right temperature, speak to the flavor profile and voice their own experience with the dish will do wonders to pique customer curiosity in a dish they may have written off.
It’s a Big Bite of ‘Blah’
Yes, pork has a milder flavor than other popular meats, but that’s good news.
That makes pork chops the perfect base for signature spice rubs, marinades or sauces in just about any flavor profile you want. Think of it as the canvas to create your next trending masterpiece.
The Cut of Few Words
Looking over the typical menu, enticing descriptors and superlatives are almost solely focused on beef dishes.
Go ahead, give pork the written red-carpet treatment on your menu. Then stand back and watch as customers get enticed outside of their comfort zones.
Location, Location, Location
Having a beef dish as your signature item is like having “New York’s Best Pizza.” It’s a claim that every other restaurant makes.
But a restaurant renowned for their pork chop? It’s something you don’t see every day, and that draws attention.
Set apart as its own specialty and otherwise given “top billing” will create a shift in customer attitude. To see this concept in action, check out the success of Perry’s Steakhouse.
A Matter of Perspective
The pork chop’s lower price point leads diners to assume it is of lesser quality compared to that of beef. Positioned right, the value perception can be swayed and used to your advantage.