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About this blog: I am a perpetually hungry twenty-something journalist, born and raised in Menlo Park and currently working at the Palo Alto Weekly as education and youth staff writer. I graduated from USC with a major in Spanish and a minor in jo...  (More)

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Chez Franc drops its prices

Uploaded: Mar 5, 2015
Palo Alto's new hot-dog eatery Chez Franc has lowered its prices by several dollars, both as a result of making their own rather than buying dogs and in response to diners' feedback that prices were too high.

Chez Franc, which opened at 415 California Ave. in January, is now serving up its dogs for $6 to $13 instead of $12 to $15. Sandwiches and sides have also dropped in price.

"The main reason is that we are able to produce hot dogs at a lower price than we were buying them," owner Jacquetta Lannan wrote in an email. "We use very high quality ingredients, but it's still less expensive for us to make them than to buy.

"The secondary reason is that the primary negative feedback we received was our high prices. We looked for cost savings opportunities with our vendors and products."

A banner at the California Avenue restaurant advertising the new, lower prices.

Lannan and chef Dan Sung, who came to Chez Franc from The Village Pub in Woodside, also reworked the menu so that the dogs are not bundled with sides, but instead customers can purchase a franc solo or add a side if they wish. Fries are $2; slaw is $1.

Lannan said Sung is also working on a "limited edition burger" that is made with two very thinly pounded patties of Wagyu beef, topped with Tillamook cheddar and other ingredients on an English muffin-style bun.

Check out the new menu and prices here.

For all you sweet tooths out there, Chez Franc is also now serving ice cream from San Francisco's Humphrey Slocombe. Grab a scoop of the shop's famed Secret Breakfast flavor (made with bourbon and corn flakes), Blue Bottle Vietnamese Iced Coffee, Harvey Milk and Honey or Tahitian Vanilla. Lannan said they'll soon have a freezer and will be selling pints as well.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Desmo, a resident of Southgate,
on Mar 5, 2015 at 10:49 am

Desmo is a registered user.

I made a few posts here about the prices in the past. I was never going to pay $13 for a dog. Kudos to the owners for listening to customers. Now once they are open on weekends I plan to go! Love a great dog!

 +   5 people like this
Posted by Mr.Recycle, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Mar 5, 2015 at 11:05 am

I ate there once, and actually really liked the food. But at the price level it was at, I probably wouldn't have returned. I'll definitely give it another shot now.

If they are still listening, to get the local lunch crowd, put up a banner advertising a ~$10-12 lunch combo that includes fries and a drink.

 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Martha, a resident of Downtown North,
on Mar 5, 2015 at 2:34 pm

Now if they would make their own ice cream, they could drop the prices even lower. Just sayin'

 +   3 people like this
Posted by Jay Park, a resident of Jackson Park,
on Mar 5, 2015 at 3:50 pm


That really depends on how much ice cream Lannan is selling. If it's a substantial volume, yes, making their own ice cream might result in some cost savings. If ice cream sales volume isn't that big, it might not be advantageous.

It also depends what sort of wholesale pricing Lannan can get from artisanal ice cream producers like Humphrey Slocumbe.

Of course, there's Lanna's own interest level in making her own ice cream. Maybe she does, maybe she doesn't. She probably can't make every single thing from scratch in her own restaurant, so she must choose what to focus on in house. Does she want to bake her own buns and bread? Make her own ketchup? Duck confit? Bacon? Pickles? Cheese?

In terms of quality for her staple menu items (i.e., hot dogs), customers would see the most benefit if she decided to bring the bun/bread production in house. That's complicated since it requires special equipment for baking, space for proofing dough, etc., and staff to do the baking prior to the opening of regular service hours.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Midtown, a resident of Midtown,
on Mar 5, 2015 at 5:10 pm

A $15 hot dog did not pass the smell test... At least not mine, but hey this is Silicon Valley where money does not seem to matter anymore.

 +   4 people like this
Posted by Mike Keenly, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Mar 5, 2015 at 9:06 pm

@Jay Park, I agree that making fresh bread would make a huge difference in the whole dining experience.

Still, it's hard to beat a hot dog or a polish and a drink at Redwood City Costco for $1.50+tax, one-tenth the price.

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