You can really tell a restaurant is going to be successful by how it treats its customers.
And after spending so many enjoyable hours at the Saddle Ranch Chop House last weekend, I can tell you they have a unique approach in generating demand.
The Saddle Ranch, one of the new The Legends theme restaurants, features old-timey saloon decor with a genuine mechanical bull, big-screen TVs, an 8 brazillion decibel sound system and a horses ass sticking out of the wall.
One would think all this manufactured ambiance would be enough to maintain huge nightly crowds of loyal customers. One would be wrong.
Saddle Ranch takes it to the next level. There are several techniques they use to make sure everyone at the Saddle Ranch really really wants to be at the Saddle Ranch.
It starts as soon as you walk in the door and put your name on the list for a table. You see, despite the fact there there are three or four tables sitting empty, they still ask you to put your name on the waiting list and wait (and wait, and wait).
When they finally seat you at the table that's been vacant for the past 40 minutes, they know you're not the type to get all pissy and frustrated and walk out over a little thing like standing around not doing anything.
And this is good, because they want to you stay for a while and have a good time. There's never any rush to, say, get you your drinks, or menus. Once you've ordered, you're encouraged to sit back and keep your kids under control for the next 40 minutes while the servers ignore you and wait for your dinner to arrive.
You can take this time to admire the aforementioned decorations which include servers dressed in supertight t-shirts with even tighter Daisy Dukes. Our server's shorts were so tight you could read the label on her underwear. It read "Thursday" which was strange because we were there on a Saturday.
And kudos to the Saddle Ranch management for making sure you don't have to engage in banal conversation with the other people in your party. Thanks to a sound system blaring the latest hits from the early '90s, you're not bothered with conversational pleasantries with friends that you haven't seen in months.
Finally, when your food arrives, the wait staff makes sure you're really paying attention by selecting a couple of people at your table to receive the wrong order. Of course when you discover this fun little trick, everyone has a nice laugh and your actual order come out only 15 minutes later.
Yes, the staff and management of Saddle Rance Chop House really go out of their way to ensure that you want to be there.
It's reflected in their motto: "If you don't have a good time, it's your own damn fault."
tagged: food, restaurant, review, Saddle Ranch Chop House, Kansas City, The Legends, Daisy Dukes