P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc., with its new-menu debut Tuesday, has put renewed emphasis on its scratch cooking in each of its 211 domestic restaurants as well as its particular ingredient sourcing, the company told NRN.
“For a group of restaurants, it’s surprising that all the food is prepared from scratch everyday in all of our kitchens,” said Dwayne Chambers, P.F. Chang’s chief marketing officer, in an interview. “It’s the way the company has conducted business since its inception, and we’re just finally telling people about it.”
From website videos of the farms where it gets ingredients to menu covers that deconstruct dishes down to their simplest form, the company is highlighting how each of its domestic units highlights in-house preparations.
In addition, the company has signed on to sponsor the six-episode public television series, “The Kitchen Wisdom of Cecilia Chiang,” which started airing this month and focuses on the 96-year-old mother of P.F. Chang’s co-founder Philip Chiang.
“While she doesn’t have direct involvement in P.F. Chang’s, she’s an incredible inspiration for us,” said Chambers. “Philip Chiang’s experiences came through his mother and the Mandarin [Restaurant] in San Francisco. We owe her a lot.”
Chambers, who has been CMO at P.F. Chang’s for the past six month, said the company has set out to broaden its “Farm to Wok” message to its customers.
“We’re intentionally beginning to share that with our customers and, in our restaurants, getting our servers to share that information as well,” he said. “You can have multiple restaurants and still cook from scratch. Our customers told it was important to have the food cooked in this kitchen.”
The physical menus that rolled out this week include photography of what goes into menu items.
“Each of our menus now, on the covers, will deconstruct our dishes,” Chambers explained. “The covers of the menu show the raw ingredients and everything that’s in a dish. For the Mongolian Beef, that’s just five ingredients. It’s to show people what they are really eating.”
The company has also added sourcing videos to its website, with the first being for the green onions from the third-generation family-owned Muranka Farm Inc. in both California and Mexico.
“We have very specific specs, because it’s an important part of our dishes,” Chambers said. “We only have a couple of sources. The onions have to be a certain quality and a certain size.” Future videos will highlight how the company sources rice and honey, he said.
To highlight the rollout, the company is investing in paid social and digital marketing, he said.
The company is also working locally at farmer’s markets to feature the brand and new menu items, Chambers said. Some of the new additions with this week’s menu rollout include: Wok-Fired Filet Mignon, Singapore Firecracker Chicken, Wok-Charred Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower Tempura and Hunan Dragon Wings.
The company is also highlighting fresh-squeezed juices and premium spirits in its cocktail program.
P.F. Chang’s China Bistro has 211 traditional locations in the United States as well as two airport locations in Detroit and Atlanta. The company also has 65 restaurants outside the United States. The parent company also operates Pei Wei Asian Diner with 222 fast-casual restaurants.