Friday, January 23, 2009

Observing Your Dining Demographic

For close to 30 years i have been working in bakeries that ranged from selling boutique breads to producing bread lines that have serviced entire gas station chains. Although the products were completely different, i realized i could be successful if i remembered one thing. Know your demographic. Dogs are no different, They have culinary needs and desires as well, but unfortunately these needs are seldom met. Many dog guardians all to often take pride in touting that they have complete insight when when it comes to pretty much everything that pertains to their breed of choice.

C'mon, that would be like me preparing the same dish for every Irish person i met and expecting the consumption to remain uniformed. When i get a new commercial account here is some of the things i look for when setting up their product template.

Age of the average clientele -

Age makes a big difference when deciding a menu. Older people (or dogs) tend to prefer to eat at morning or night, where as pups and post pups enjoy eating in the afternoon. Their bodies and nutritional needs are different as well. For instance, can you tell me what a casino bun is and why it was created? Most peoples jaw span dissipates exponentially after they turn 60. That's why most bakeries create a bun that has a higher fat content to keep the product flat.

Senior dogs bite patterns become smaller as they get older as well, so creating a smaller biscuit or kibble piece is paramount. foods thickness is always carefully regulated by most professionals that cater to mature dogs. Also meal sizes tend to decrease with age as well. that's why many informed guardians supplement extra fruits and veggies throughout their dogs day.

Dining Location -

Ask any server you know what part of the floor they prefer to work. Most will tell you the middle. when dining mobs congregate the packs energy comes from the middle and consumption is always pinnacle in this position.

Dogs however do not like the center. If you go to a dog park watch how most of the mutts approach one another. they sidle up from the side. Pack mentality has a wiring that allows larger portions to be served when the dog is surfing the packs perimeter. Show offs will puff up and try to rationalize such theories as to why this happens, but for those of us who are just creating recipes, it does not really matter. The bottom line is a good chef or Baker won't need to understand tenancies, Just recognize them.

Visual Product Quoting -

It takes a certain ego (or ignorance) to believe that it can feed an entire species somewhat effectively. I've serviced literally thousands of chefs over the years and the one thing they all had in common was that they all believed they were going to impress their concept onto their desired target. Very few do, but when i think of the peeps who really pulled it off, usually it was because they studied sample audiences. they took notes which listed traits like....."Of 100 woman who had a choice of whole whole grains or enriched breads 89% opted for the former, Chefs usually don't do this just because its mandatory to the success of their business plan. they do it because they are genuinely curious to extract info from unaware diners. Now i realize most of you who patronize this web site are not hard core chefs, but i really think I'd be re missed if i didn't encourage you you shut your mouth and pay attention to what your dog is communicating to you through action. remember the joy can only be filled if you commit to a small measure of focus.

Alright, that's about enough for this installment. My book The K-9 Nation Biscuit Book (Baking for my Best Friend will be dropping at a bookstore near you on April 15th (or if you are one of those pre order geeks head over to Amazon books and place your order for several copies today) so until then let's all just slowly ramp up this site. If any of you biscuit disiples have any other questions you can also feel free to send me a shout at

I'm out - Klecko

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Welcome to the Pack

From left to right -
Peanut (Pack Leader)

I am Klecko

Greetings to all of you who have shown an interest in studying the finer arts of K-9 cuisine. My name is Klecko, and I am the C.E.O. at Saint Agnes Baking Co. In Saint Paul, MN.