Last week, P.F. Chang’s debuted a value lunch menu, featuring 20 combinations and five dim sum options, each priced at $10 or less. The move is a first for the casual Chinese chain, which has stuck to an all-day menu since its inception.

“For 18 years, we’ve served dinner at lunch,” says Lane Cardwell, president of P.F. Chang’s. “With value being increasingly important for guests, we just thought it was time to really make a big statement about lunch.”

While P.F. Chang’s has had a handful of lunch selections available since 2009, Cardwell calls the separate menu “a full commitment to lunch.”

He says the $10 price point is a good rule of thumb for the casual sector, as guests are usually unwilling to spend much more for lunch.

“I think [a value lunch menu] really plays to what guests are looking for and need right now,” Cardwell says. “Lunch for a lot of people is not entertainment; it’s just a necessity. So I think a lot of people are looking for the chance to get away from work, but not invest a lot of money.”

P.F. Chang’s lunch menu offers 20 combinations of chicken, beef, shrimp, vegetable, and noodle dishes, all of which come with a choice of soup or salad. The combinations are priced at $10.

Dim sum also makes an appearance. Guests can choose two dumpling varieties, which come with three dumplings per order, and also a choice of soup or salad for $7.45.

Cardwell says it is a smart idea to offer small plates such as dim sum during a midday meal.

“A lot of people just want a light lunch, and [dim sum] also gives you the ability to have a quick lunch,” Cardwell says.

As for Cardwell’s personal favorites off the lunch menu, he is quick to name the caramel mango chicken and the crab fried rice.

By Sonya Chudgar

Industry News, P.F. Chang's