Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe and Its Understandable Scandal
In an infamous scandal, it was rumored that the Mrs. Field’s cookie recipe was sold by the company for $250. Though this story is false, it brought up interesting questions about food businesses sharing their recipes. Some famous restaurants and bakeries have published successful restaurant cookbooks that draw fans of their products. The Los Angeles Time’s SOS section allows readers to request restaurant recipes from various food businesses, and tries to get a hold of them. Some people are reluctant when it comes to sharing recipes, which makes it understandable that food businesses, which make a living off their restaurant recipes, would be a little uncomfortable giving up their secrets. Will customers who have the Mrs. Field’s cookie recipe still be inclined to purchase a cookie at the store?
The (Not So) Secret Restaurant Recipe
In today’s day and age, a “secret” restaurant recipe is easy enough to Google. There are unlimited ways to find a free recipe online, with user feedback and comments. Any person can find a recipe for almost any dish by searching for free recipes online. Food businesses that chose to share a restaurant recipe are simply making the search process slightly easier for their customer. They are eliminating the steps of finding a similar free recipe online and tweaking it until it resembles the true dish. They may not have the exact tartelette molds that the business uses, or other commercial kitchen equipment that makes the dish come out just so, but they will at least have a dish that is quite similar to the one served by the business.
The question remains as to how a business should proceed when their recipes are requested. If a food business gives out a recipe, it runs the risk of customers preparing restaurant recipes at home, to reduce costs, and perhaps make them healthier. On the other hand, refusing to share a recipe might estrange customers. There has to be a compromise as a solution to this dilemma. The business manager, owner, or chef should decide whether or not to give up a restaurant recipe, and which recipes to share. Sharing recipes helps build a relationship with the client. However, a line must be drawn. Perhaps this line is a secret restaurant recipe, or a recipe from a friend, employee, or former employer, whom requested that it not be shared. Once this line is decided on, there should be no crossing it. With this compromise in place, customers will understand if the business does not want to publicize a specific recipe, and a positive relationship with the customer can be maintained.