What do you suppose the rationale is behind discontinuing popular entrees?

Discussion in 'Disney Restaurants' started by aristocatz, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. aristocatz

    aristocatz DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2009
    I understand that Disney wants to keep their menu fresh & updated, but I just can't figure out what their rationale is when they discontinue the most popular dishes on restaurant menus?:confused3

    Kona's signature dish was their tuna oscar.....they eliminated it.

    Jiko's signature dish was their filet with mac and cheese.....they changed it (though I've heard you can still get it on request)

    Rose & Crown eliminated their potato leek soup

    Le Cellier just changed their infamous mushroom filet

    I just read that Cape May possibly eliminated their crab legs....really the main food that justified them calling it a new england seafood buffet

    I just don't get it-isn't it just shooting themselves in the foot?

    Just wondered, from a restaurant point of view, what is the rationale behind eliminating entrees that are the most popular amongst guests? Why not eliminate the least popular ones?
  2. Nechville

    Nechville DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2012
    Cape May eliminated the crab legs????
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  4. aristocatz

    aristocatz DIS Veteran

    Feb 22, 2009
  5. Nechville

    Nechville DIS Veteran

    Oct 16, 2012
    Cape May is a big highlight is DH and DS's trip, because of the crab legs. That really stinks.
  6. mom2taylorandemily

    mom2taylorandemily Not so patiently waiting our next trip to Disney..

    Jun 14, 2006
    I totally agree, it defies all reasonable logic!!

    Let's see, I run a restaurant, and I have a best selling dish! Hmmmm......if I drop the dish and add something new, maybe cheaper to make, will they like that too? I don't think so!!! Bring back the Crab Legs!!!!!!:rotfl2::rotfl2:
  7. TheRustyScupper

    TheRustyScupper Seeing isn't Believing, Believing is Seeing.

    Aug 8, 2000

    1) MONEY, and profit.
    2) Why put the expensive stuff out, when DDP people will eat ANYTHING? *
    3) As far as Cape May,
    . . . the crab legs were small
    . . . there was little meat
    . . . people would "pig-out" on them
    . . . they became unprofitable

    * DDP, in our opinion, has become the opiate of the masses. People just seem
    to order the most expensive things on the menu and believe it is "good food",
    regardless of the actual quality. Sure, some DDP people are "foodies", but
    most just want the expensive items. Even at that, in MOST cases, DDP is a
    loss compared to paying OOP. Plus, in some cases, WDW has increased the
    menu item price to justify the DDP (PRIME EXAMPLE: Mickey BBQ. It used to
    be 1/2 the price of HDDR and is now the same price when using the DDP.
    And, people fall for this !!!).
  8. minnie mum

    minnie mum Unapologetic Disney Fan(atic)

    Mar 8, 2011
    According to a friend who runs a lovely restaurant here at home, there are 2 reasons to discontinue a popular item.
    1. Lack of reliable availability.
    2. Cost

    Since I haven't read of a world wide shortage of tuna, beef, or crab legs, I'd have to assume this is another instance of corporate cost cutting. And I think Rusty is right. DDP can take a big share of the blame in the quality of the meals in the WDW restaurants.
  9. Fly me with Balloons

    Fly me with Balloons Mouseketeer

    Jul 10, 2006
    This guy said it perfectly. Kudos.
    DDP & Free dining has deteriorated dining throughout WDW. It's sad (at least for me & my family).
  10. alicia080979

    alicia080979 DIS Veteran

    Jun 11, 2009
    I'm still bitter that LeCellier dropped the 1 TS lunch, the cream cheese mashed potatoes and the burger. We used to go at least once, maybe twice every trip and have not been (and won't be back anytime soon) since they made the change.

    Now Jiko...I have read you can still get the mac & cheese. We are staying at AKL and going to eat here just for the filet/mac & cheese. If we find out beforehand they stop serving it on request we will cancel.

    Ohana...we used to love and while I still love the bread pudding, discontinuing the chicken was disappointing given they didn't add anything else (don't count the gross lettuce wraps). Luckily, since DH & I have a shellfish allergy and can't eat the shrimp, the chef cooked us 2 large chicken breasts so that we would have a 3rd protein. We are still debating dropping 'Ohana and ordering the dessert at the bar.
  11. NorthernOnt

    NorthernOnt Earning My Ears

    Jul 7, 2014
    Hello everyone, long time lurker, first time poster. I have to agree that the DDP has done harm to dining at Disney. Disney can do great food, just look at Victoria & Alberts which is truly amazing or head over to the Swan for a steak at Shula's.

    I have always thought that Disney got it wrong when they started the DDP. Even now you just have to look at what you get for 1 TS credit. You can go for breakfast at Trails End for 1 credit or $17, or do dinner at Boma for $33 or 1 TS credit. If you are in Epcot you can go to Rose and Crown where the average meal is just over $40 (deluxe plan) for the same credit or head to Chef de France where the average meal is almost $50.

    This is a huge gap in value for the customer of the DDP and with everyone trying to maximize their credit value I know I don't go out of my way to visit Trails End for breakfast when I could be dining at the GF for the same money.

    From a restaurant point of view some are making great money with the DDP, others have to cut costs which might mean cutting some of the favorite dishes. It is not the way to run a restaurant or a business.

    Look at what they have done with their park pass tickets. Buy one day and you are going broke. Buy a 10 day pass and the average cost is very reasonable. Buy for a year and you can go to Disney every day for the cost of a coffee and watch the tourists that just paid $100 for their one day pass to MK.

    Disney could bring that same approach to the DDP and make it work for the consumer and the restaurants by using a point system for each restaurant. So a snack might be 1 to 3 points. Breakfast at Trials End would be 17 points, diner at Boma 33 points, Rose and Crown 40 points and finally Chef de France 50 points. Once at the restaurant the person can order off the menu just as the they would normally with the DDP.

    What this would solve is issues of cost and quality as it would give a restaurant such as Cape May the ability to adjust their points based upon current food costs and consumption. If they let the quality slide the people won't see the value in the restaurant and won't go because for the XX number of points there will be a better one around the corner.

    For the consumer Disney could sell the points in blocks with the more points you purchase per day of your trip the less it costs you per point. This would be value for Disney in that the more points people spend they will be spending them at higher priced restaurants. With higher priced wine and drinks to offset their lower margins for those customers.

    The restaurants would only see the number of points used and not how much the individual paid for them so every customer would be treated the same.

    Sorry for the rant on my first post but it is on my mind every time I read topics like this and the compliants about the DDP. :offtopic:
  12. illinidp

    illinidp DIS Veteran

    Aug 24, 2013
    Unless every person in your group always orders deserts and you never order alcohol or appetizers, the Tables in Wonderland program will usually save you more than the DDP.

    The only drawback with that program is the person with the card has to be the person paying every time. If you have a large group that tends to split up during the day you either have to meet up with the person with the card assigned to them every time you want a meal or snack or not always use the discount or get multiple cards which diminishes the savings pretty quickly.
  13. hmillerbarilla

    hmillerbarilla DIS Veteran

    Dec 7, 2006
    I dropped our 'Ohana. We were huge chicken fans.. without that, I couldn't justify spending the money for the dinner. It's disappointing, and hopefully it will change.

    As for Cape May, that's ridiculous. I hope the crab legs return. We're supposed to be having dinner there in 3 weeks but I'm canceling for something else because it's just not worth it without those in my opinion.
  14. Donald - my hero

    Donald - my hero <font color=blue>Aww yes. The dreaded "mouse hand"

    Jun 11, 2006
    On occasion restaurants will drop "signature menu items" when a new chef takes over. The new chef will add items that they have in their repertoire. Don't know how this applies to the crab legs, but does take into account things like the filet at LeCellier.

    Doesn't happen strictly in WDW, i have gone to a favourite place in town and been disappointed when what i was dreaming of eating was no longer offered.

    Hope those of you who are feeling frustrated by the fact that some of your "go-to" or "must eat" items no longer are available are able to find new things that tickle you fancy :thumbsup2
  15. CSchex

    CSchex Mouseketeer

    Aug 9, 2012
    Ours, too! It's my husband's favorite meal! I was frustrated to see the post about the crab legs being eliminated. We made reservations at about 150 days out and now every single restaurant we reserved has went through a menu change! :confused3
  16. itchin2go

    itchin2go When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

    May 8, 2007
    I agree! I'm probably just as cynical than the next person, but does everything have to be the result of cost cutting and DDP?

    I don't think Le Cellier cut their costs by nixing the mushrooms in the risotto and adding spinach and bacon. :confused3 I don't think Jiko cut their costs (couldn't have been by much if so), by cutting the mac and cheese in favor of polenta.

    Could some of these decisions been due to creativity, authenticity or just a desire to keep things fresh?

    P.S. I don't know what to say about eliminating the crab legs at Cape May. If they're going to do that, I would say they need to reinvent themselves altogether, because I always thought of it as "that all you can eat crab legs place". :rotfl:
  17. Polydweller

    Polydweller DIS Veteran

    May 17, 2010
    There are several rationales in the restaurant world and I've seen them all at the restaurants in our hotels.

    1. Lack of availability: many foods, especially seafoods are seasonal so come and go from the the menu. A poor going season can affect availabilty.

    2. Costs: some foods become prohibitively expensive. You may want to sell them but the suppliers charge so much that you would have to charge more than your market would bear.

    3. Chefs leave: chefs are notorious for moving all the time and when they leave the menu can change. If the recipe is with the restaurant (property of the restaurant) then it can still be made but if it's with the chef then the restaurant cannot use that recipe without their permission and do it leaves the menu. Even with the restaurant a new chef may not want to make it,

    4. The chef gets bored. Yep, chef's do get bored making the same things and simply want to do something else to keep their interest and test their skills.

    5. A dish doesn't make sales targets. Even signature dishes can get to the point that they don't sell enough to be worth producing them. Every dish has to produce it's share of revenue. The restaurant is a business.

    6. Freshening the menu. Just like the physical restaurant gets refreshened to reflect changes in people's tastes so do menu. Dishes, like everything else, go in and out of style. Also, freshening says to people that you are staying current and not just producing the same thing over and over and that helps keep people interested in your product.
  18. disney is my life

    disney is my life DIS Veteran

    Jul 15, 2012
    This is definitely disappointing. We were planning on making reservations at both 'Ohana and Cape May Café for our next trip but not anymore.
  19. Sunseadisney

    Sunseadisney Mouseketeer

    Apr 9, 2014
    Like when Ohana did similar and removed shrimp :scared:
  20. ttintagel

    ttintagel DIS Veteran

    Nov 28, 2011
    Most likely the cost of ingredients rises beyond what they feel they can compensate for in raising menu prices, to maintain their desired profit margin.
  21. Polydweller

    Polydweller DIS Veteran

    May 17, 2010
    Or, you could look at it as an opportunity to be adventurous and try something new. These were brand new places to everyone the first time we went and we had to find favourites. Who knows, maybe there's a new favorite there waiting to be found.

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