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When the Door is Open.

July 28, 2014

I know that title sounds like I’m about to drop some extremely profound wisdom on you — I just might, we’ll see — but it’s actually the opening to an article about taking advantage of an awesome opportunity; about walking through the proverbial door when you see it is open and not waiting until it is too late. When I began this post, I had in mind to talk about White Castle’s busy year of menu development, but in doing some research, what I noticed was that White Castle’s steady rollout of new menu items was given some momentum; better yet, the door was opened for White Castle and it was up to them to walk through it — they chose to run.

At the opening of 2014, Time magazine named the White Castle Original Slider® as the most influential burger ever in a poll of hamburger historians and experts. Now if that’s not an open door, I don’t know what is. I mean, I love me some QSR magazine, but this is Time so it is kind of a big deal. With this new found attention on their menu, the smart folks at White Castle got moving introducing new menu items to their classic, but amazingly coveted lineup. I say “coveted” because defines the word as to desire without due regard for the rights of others. That’s what I’m saying. When I’ve wanted White Castle, I didn’t care what anyone else wanted — we were getting some sliders. I could down those things faster than hot Krispy Kremes, that is until my wife gives me “the look.”

Since the announcement of this high honor, White Castle has launched a line of Belgium Waffle breakfast sandwiches (bacon, egg, and cheese; sausage, egg, and cheese; and my favorite, The Chicken and Waffle), two Sriracha Chicken Sliders, and is currently testing a Veggie Slider and a Turkey Slider. One might say, “They were going to launch these items anyway. It had nothing to do with the Time piece.” I say to that, while I love their menu like I love my wife — just as it is — White Castle had only launched two other menu items in the last two years: BBQ Sliders in January of 2012 and Grilled Chicken Sliders in August of 2013. I think the timing speaks for itself. But regardless, that’s what being a progressively relevant brand is all about — walking through the right doors at the right time.

Start-up restaurants could learn a great deal from how this played out. When that local newspaper names you as “The Best Restaurant in Town,” look at it as an opportunity. Launch a menu item, clean the restrooms and paint the walls, be on your A-game. Just know that people will come and you want more good publicity to follow.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Allen permalink
    August 17, 2014 9:27 AM

    Fantastic read! Now I need… scratch that, I covet a slider!

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