How many times have you heard from a co-worker that a friend-of-a-friend’s-cousin got the secret coffee drink from the Starbucks secret menu? We’ve all heard tales of “rainbow lattes” and “burger-chicken-McGriddle” that are concoctions dreamed up by bored restaurant employees to feed their curiosities at the end of a shift. With the spread of social media, rumors of the “secret menu” at many fast food establishments began to spread over the web like wildfire.
These special creations can only be ordered by those in the know. Even with knowledge of these forbidden pleasures doesn’t guarantee that you will receive the bounty of these treasures. Many chains only offer these secret items once every few months. Some stores are also not initiated with these off the wall creations as they may only exist at a particular franchise store. Besides having the co-workers’ friend-of-a-friend’s cousin get you the information, how else is one supposed to know about the secret?
As with many questions formed in the age of technology, the answer comes in the phrase: “There’s an app for that!” Now foodies looking to fulfill their secret cravings for crazy concoctions can download the newest app called “Off the Menu”. This app is available for both Android and iOS platforms—no need to take sides for this app. The creators of “Off the Menu” wanted to allow users to find store locations offering secret menus for mass consumption. The app will also allow users to view sample menus to learn more about possible creations to their hearts desires.
The app focuses on several large cities such as Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco. These hubs of food innovation make logical sense for the companies’ initial app launch. One of the West Coast’s most popular fast food chains, In-and-Out, was popular based around the mythology of the ability to create a secret burger combination on their hidden menu. Hoping to gain more attention in the app store world, Off the Menu will eventually expand to more cities and countries for larger user capacity.
In addition to being beneficial for food lovers, the app is also helpful for the restaurants themselves. The app acts as a way of free advertising to lure curious individuals. Restaurants that may not have had secret menus may be more inclined to create them just for the buzz that surrounds them once they are invented. Being privy to a secret menu of food makes a customer feel important and also like a pirate that has found undiscovered treasure.
The focus on secret items for most customers seems to revolve around fast food restaurants. However, Off the Menu also caters to those customers with more refined tastes. Higher end establishments are also offering secret menu fare through Off the Menu. Grammercy Tavern in NYC has items that are only available to those in the know. These items could include a specially prepared steak of the day or perhaps a particular wine that is not advertised to the restaurant as a whole. You can order these goodies with a wink and a nudge to your waiter as others look on in envy of your special treatment.
The people behind Off the Menu research daily to see what type of secret menu items are being added to a number of different establishments. They try to take the guesswork out of the mystery food capers and provide the information to its app users pain-free. Some may qualm that part of the fun of a secret menu is finding out about it on your own time. The word of mouth spread of information makes it that much better. Off the Menu does the detective work for you so that you can have the confidence to go to Chipotle and order that quesirito with no worries of being denied.