Thursday, March 09, 2006

Exciting news!

A note to all the restaurant publicists out there who grind out release after release (after release after release) to announce additions to their chain clients’ menus: Grab a latte, find the crossword puzzle in today’s paper, check your eBay bids, or otherwise catch a breather. We’re about to take the labor out of that bread-and-butter task by giving you a fool-proof template for touting virtually any new-product introduction. Or at least the sort that have been clogging our e-mail inboxes as of late.

We’ve even put it in a customizable, fill-in-the-blanks form:

[Insert headquarters city] – [BoBo’s, Krusty’s, Fat & Fried, other chain name], an [innovative, exciting, orgasm-producing, other breathless descriptor] new type of [quick-service, family, pancake] restaurant, is inviting lovers of [lobster, porterhouse, caviar, other high-end foodstuff]to sate their craving for a [fraction, bare trace, teensy-weensy bit, other synonym for negligible amount]of the price they’d pay in [Per Se, Spago, Tru, Gary Danko, Mansion on Turtle Creek, other fine-dining standout].

“We’ve introduced a new [Frutta di Mare Burger, Tiger-Prawn Salad, Moroccan Prime Rib Sandwich, other highfalutin-sounding product] to let customers enjoy the finer things in life without going broke,” said [insert name], chief executive of the [see earlier unabashedly effusive descriptor] chain. “It’s what customers could previously only get in a fine-dining restaurant, now available in a form that meets their budget and need for convenience.”

Of course your bosses will wonder how you drafted such an insightful, dead-on document, perfectly attuned to the trend in menu making at the low end of the chain spectrum. But we’re watching your back there, bunky. You merely need to explain that you’ve been monitoring the news lately, and see that Champagne-at-a-beer-price has been the siren for most of the sector’s new products in recent weeks. Think about it: You can now get lobster (or at least langostino) at Long John’s, Kobe beef at Ruby’s, prime rib at Quiznos, steak at Taco John’s, oversized shrimp at Sizzler, premium coffee at McDonald’s and Del Taco, and, soon, possibly, salmon at McAlister’s Deli and McDonald’s.

Food available at a bargain price has been one of the key draws for fast food and family since A&W and Hot Shoppes respectively dominated those market in the mid-20th century. Now the formula has been modified a bit, to tout better food at a slightly higher price.

But it shouldn’t be a worry for you. With the raise and bonus you’ll get from presenting our snazzy new announcement, you’ll be able to afford lobster or steak anywhere you’d want.

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