I’m not going to lie. Eating hamburgers for breakfast doesn’t really sound particularly appetizing. But then I heard about Steak ‘n Shake offering hamburgers to Atlanta residents for a mere 15 cents if you went during 8:00am-11:00am on Friday Feb. 13th. Suddenly burgers for breakfast sounded pretty good.
The Steak & Shake franchise is celebrating 75 years in business and in a clever marketing ploy (or desperate?), they got nostalgic and decided the best way to draw attention to the long history of the restaurant was to lower the price of a burger to the original 1934 price of 15 cents.
Well they certainly got my attention. So I grabbed my roommate and we headed to the location on Northside Parkway NW to check it out.
Doors open at 8:00am and we pulled up at 7:45am to find a line of about 60 people.
A group Georgia Tech students even had sleeping bags and lawn chairs and obviously had been camped out for quite a while. Shaun Byun had been waiting since 2:00am. “Yeah it was cold but it was totally worth it. It’s very gratifying.”
As it turns out, the first 75 people through the door got a membership to the VIP club which allows for one free meal per month for a year. When we walk in there is a good vibe floating around the room and everyone is really excited about the occasion.
Most of the tables are already full but we manage to grab a booth and our server Dominique Haynes is prompt to take our orders. Of course it doesn’t take long for us to decide what we want because we are working off a special event menu with the special pricing.
We both order two burgers at 15 cents each but I add cheese to my burgers for an extra 39 cents each. We also get coffee for $1.49 each. Dominique brings our food and he seems genuinely surprised about how excited the customers are. “When I pulled in and saw the long line, I thought maybe I shouldn’t come to work today. It’s going to be a crazy day!”
I could talk about the taste and quality of the food, but to be honest, does it really matter since I’m only paying 15 cents for the burgers? It could be the worst meal of my life and I would still be getting a great deal.
Our combined tab is $4.71, but here’s the thing, even though we are getting burgers at 1934 prices, Dominique and the rest of the staff still have 2009 bills to pay. So this is one of those rare times when the tip is higher than the tab!
As for eating burgers for breakfast… I think I’m okay with another 75 years before I do it again.