How coronavirus made this steakhouse adapt

May 19, 2020

Peter Lugers shipping steak nationwide, delivering in New York City

Peter Luger, the 133-year-old New York City institution known for being nearly impossible to get into, announced Monday it would allow people to order its cuts, like a $115 steak for two, to-go locally through delivery service Caviar. And its dry-aged steaks, available for as much as $330.95 through Goldbelly, are already sold-out online.

The historic Brooklyn chophouse, which was once a dining destination for tourists from around the world, has remained closed since mid-March due to state-wide stay-at-home orders despite being able to remain open for takeout and delivery. And like thousands of restaurants throughout the country, Peter Luger, a cash-only restaurant, had to adapt to the new normal of hospitality, which is heavily relying on delivery just to keep the lights on.

“In order to continue to serve the local community during the pandemic, we will be making limited menu and butcher shop items available for pickup and delivery from our Brooklyn location,” the steakhouse wrote on its website, as first reported by Eater.

Steak delivery has been one of the best options for steakhouse chains closed as a result of COVID-19. Before reopening some of its locations, Chicago-based Morton’s steakhouse was selling its filet mignons for nearly $30 on Seamless. It’s reopened a number of its dining rooms in Florida, Las Vegas and Arizona and more are set to reopen by the end of the month, according to its website.

But not everyone is buying.

Restaurant industry experts say steak delivery won’t travel well and will likely end up being overcooked and need to be reheated.

“The steak is not going to be nearly as good, it’s going to be over-cooked, you’ll have to reheat it, and it’s not going to be the experience you’d want,” Jason Kaplan, owner of restaurant consulting firm JK Consulting, told FOX Business.

A food delivery package of two USDA Prime dry-aged strop steaks between 24 and 26 ounces each and two porterhouse steaks, between 36 to 38-ounces each, and two bottles of Peter Luger steak sauce is sold out on the Goldbelly website.

Peter Luger did not respond to a Fox Business request for comment.

Carnivores with deep pockets will now be able to order the restaurant’s burger, priced at  $18.95;  a single steak for $57.45; and a steak for two, which costs $114.90 on Caviar. The restaurant’s signature thick cuts of bacon and sides like creamed spinach and its iceberg wedge salads will also be available for delivery along with wine by the bottle too.

Customers can place orders for pick-up by calling in. The restaurant’s dry-aged meat for customers to cook at home like rib steak are also available.

Kaplan, however, says many consumers won’t want to pay restaurant prices for a meal they have to cook themselves.

“For me the idea of cooking my own steak and still charging the price of what it’d be in the steakhouse is ridiculous,” Kaplan, the restaurant consultant, said. “Right now people are out of work, the last thing they may want right now is to spend all this money on a steak.”



JK Consulting is a New York-based international restaurant & hospitality consulting firm. We specialize in restaurant & bar openings along with turnaround programs. Our expertise is in developing highly effective operational systems, management procedures, hospitality services, staff training, beverage, menu and mystery shopping programs.
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