One of my favorite philosophies of marketing is if you try to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one. However, in the restaurant industry, you would hope the menu has at least on item for everyone to please a wide variety of people. The result of this is some items that end up being unpleasant to some people. Taco Bell, for instance, has so many items it’s unreasonable to try everything. While they are good for a quick bite on the go, or a cheap meal to fill up on, some items fall out of what most Taco Bell customers are looking for. Recently, the company has tried to provide a more “premium” selection of burritos and tacos. Their Cantina burrito runs about $7 with chicken, more than I would usually spend on one item at the Bell. I typically seek out a “gourmet burrito” at a place like Chipotle and Qboda.
Another spot I visited was Firehouse Subs, a fairly new sub shop specializing in toasted sandwiches. Pretty great sandwiches, I’ve tried most of their menu. One I have avoided is the Italian. If you’ve had an Italian sandwich, then you know it can be somewhat messy. Ingredients will fall off, and your hands get covered in sauce. And when you add heat to the mix, the sandwich could be fairly difficult to eat. One way Firehouse Subs might be able to convert me would be promoting their artistry with the food, if they convinced me that the sandwich would not fall apart I would be more tempted to give it a go. Until then I’ll stick to my cleaner options.
The third place I visited was Thai Food Corner. A local restaurant operated by the same family for as long as I’ve been a customer. However there is one item I have never dared to order. It is called larb. The dish is described as seasoned beef with peppers and cilantro, served with lettuce and eaten like a taco. The idea of a lettuce taco seems so strange to me. And the word larb doesn’t sound appealing at all. If they changed the name of the dish to “lettuce taco” I would be more willing to try. For now I’ll stay away from consuming the larb.
Since there are many other appealing options on these menus, I will stick with what I know. My perception of these items is influenced by imagery and my idea of what the dish is. Everyone has different perceptions, and these establishments know they cannot please everyone.