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The Secret Ingredient for Staying Popular & Profitable | FoodPower is a restaurant consulting firm that coaches industry leaders to leverage strengths, create concepts, refine menus & identify opportunities to increase revenue & capatalize on the changes in today's dining out patterns.

The BUZZ on the streets is still about the PERFECT $10 MENU at Pascal Olhats’s Brasserie Pascal at Fashion Island in Newport Beach, CA.  Amidst all of the competition, it manages to pull in guests night-after-night with a remarkable deal.

In this newsletter, I’d like to tell you the success story of a Chef
-turned-Restauranteur as he continues to make smart innovative moves to remain relevant & recession proof. I followed his great journey and discovered a secret -- read to the bottom to see what the future holds for Pascal.
Before coming to the States, Pascal Olhats paid his dues. He apprenticed in Rouen, studied at the Hotel School in Brussels, worked for Master Chef Paul Bocuse in Lyon, and worked at St. Tropez Club 55. After arriving in California in 1984, he worked as Chef at Hotel Le Meridian and Chanteclair Restaurant.
The Story, Then & NOW: In 1998, Pascal opened his fine dining restaurant, Pascal, and in 2005, he re-branded it, and true to tradition, named it just that: Tradition by PascalIt was Ground Zero for Provencial French cuisine, and it still remains the go-to spot for fans of French food. He is able to offer the cuisine at various venues, at a number of price points. And this week, Pascal hosted an evening dedicated to Beaujolais.  It was an exclusive preview of 7 of the 2010 Beaujolais Crus of George Duboeuf (all made from the Gamay grape but each from a different terroir – amazing), paired with a 7-course Lyonaise-inspired menu.  The food was fabulous but most delightul were Pascal’s stories -- his early attempts to find mesclun and mache; his pistachio sausage and pate in a world of charcuterie; and his tribute to American Jidori chicken that he says is now on a par with au Poulet de Bresse Paris.
We’ve come a long way baby!
HOT TIP: the release of this year’s George Duboeuf Nouveau Beaujolais in time for Thanksgiving Dinner will have a graffiti label designed by an underground artist in Brooklyn. You will be able to purchase it at Pascal Epicerie.
And Speaking of Pascal Epicerie & Wine... In 1995, Pascal observed the popularity and profitability of casual, quick service venues and in a brilliant move, rented the space next to his flagship restaurant to create Pascal Epicerie. It sells his fine French fare, including his own brand of private label coffee, fresh baked pastries, sandwiches, salads and entrees to eat in on the patio, café style, or grab and go.

In 2007, when the economy started trending downward Pascal saw the opportunity to help others retool their restaurants. He had his eye on the handsome French 75-turned-Rouge that was about to close.  It was a beautiful, well designed French Brasserie in the noted Fashion Island Center.  Pascal seized the opportunity to make some changes, starting with the name to Brasserie Pascal. In a smart move, he embraced the amazing Perfect $10 Menu to make it his own signature. 
Now, on everyone's minds (I know it has been on mine for years): HOW does Pascal make the Perfect 10 work? Here, straight from his mouth are the keys to his success with the radically discounted meals.
  1. Brag! Let people know about it & make it fun: sandwich board outside + lipstick on mirrors
  2. Allow the food to impress i.e. Filet Steak, Wild Salmon, Coq au Vin, Crab Cake  
  3. Trigger Temptations -- upsell outside the Perfect 10
  4. Train servers to “play the game" so they can build their tips & fill seats
  5. Entice from the start by offering a well-priced wine by the glass
  6. Offer a compelling appetizer to share ie. Baked Brie with Crusty Bread (yummmm)
  7. After Perfect 10 orders are placed, offer compelling sides to share, i.e. mac & cheese
  8. Remember some will come in for the offer and choose to order off the regular menu
  9. Suggest our unbelievable chocolate soufflé which needs to be ordered in advance
  10. Make sure the Perfect 10 is a WOW on arrival and fill the plate for value perception
  11. Train kitchen staff to implement perfectly with great speed & efficiency
  12. Buy smart. Ask for deals with purveyors. Buy whole tenderloin – portion carefully preserving tail and use trim for stroganoff and specials
  13. Watch all invoices and allow 48–50% food cost for Perfect 10 but nighttime check averages will be $25–$28, while volume is up 35%
What's next? For many years, Pascal and his kitchen team have prepared delicious staff meals every night inspired by a global cuisine -- it's one of the many perks of being part of the Pascal team. Now, the public will be able to parttake in the eats!

Pascal Drive Thru. Yes, it's true! With the picture above, we can definitely see it as a reality in Newport Beach! For only $10, guests can drive behind the Epicerie and pick up dinner with a ticket that must be pre-purchased (no money will exchange hands).
Well, I can't wait to drive through it myself! What an innovator.

My  French Culinary Instructor, Simone Beck, used to brag, "a good French Chef can make a great dinner from string."
I believe she was talking about Pascal.
We at FoodPower have a team of highly imaginative restaurant specialists ready to help you with any size project, anywhere in the country.  With the restaurant industry starting to regain its legs, now is the time to capitalize on the energy, BuZZ, and new business that a Brand-Building MakeOver can create.

Feel free to email me at or call me at 949.646.3206. You can also find me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.
To the power of food!
Phyllis Ann
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Established in 1982, Orange County-based FoodPower is a restaurant consulting firm that coaches industry leaders to leverage their strengths. By working hand-in-hand with restaurant management and staff, FoodPower can help create concepts, refine menus, and identify opportunities to increase food sales and capitalize on the changes in today’s dining out patterns to strengthen brands.

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