Like Martha Stewart, Wolfgang Puck is a conglomerate. He’s an award-winning chef, but also a restaurateur, cookbook author, newspaper columnist, TV personality, and purveyor of a line of branded consumer products and housewares. According to his website, “Central to all of Wolfgang Puck’s endeavors is his Wolfgang’s Eat, Love, Live ™ (WELL) philosophy. This stands for culinary passion for eating and dining WELL, which means a commitment to provide food made with only the freshest and most natural and organic ingredients available, to celebrate local farmers and seasonal ingredients, and to use only humanely raised animal products.”

That’s what Wolfgang wants to be known for—so is he?

Positive Themes

“Good food” is the largest positive theme—consumers clearly feel he’s delivering on the part of his philosophy related to “eating and dining well.”

  • J is now having grilled chicken with rosemary and mashed potatoes, while I have the teriyaki-glazed mahimahi. Wolfgang Puck rocks! (source)
  • We love Wolfgang Pucks. The food is great and so is the service. The filet with trffule butter is amazing and so are the crab cakes. (source)
  • Wolfgang may not think of coffee as the pinnacle of culinary achievement, but his coffee was frequently mentioned as being really good.

  • Everything was exceptionally clean. We ate at the restaurant and everything we had was good…pizza’s and breakfast. Wolfgang Puck coffee was wonderful. (source)
  • People love his products, the second biggest positive theme.

  • I love Wolfgang Pucks stainless steep set, in fact i have bought about 4 sets in the last couple years because they are AWESOME! (source)
  • The Wolfgang Puck Grill is an excellent choice for grilling indoors. I’ve had it for a week and use it almost daily. The foods retain their flavors and it cleans up really fast and easy. (source)
  • Finally, there’s his undeniable sex appeal.

  • Also, Wolfgang Puck is adorable. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home with me. So he could make me a pizza. (source)
  • Wolfgang puck is the cutest human ever.
  • Negative Themes

    The two biggest negative themes are “lousy food” and “lousy product”—a mirror image of the two biggest positive themes—“good food” and “great product.” Here are a couple of the naysayers.

  • Second time was a little disappointing. I also like Earl of Sandwich. I HATE Wolfgang Puck’s. You’d have to drag me there kicking and screaming to ever eat there again. I had the Asian Spare Ribs and they were disgusting. (source)
  • I agree Wolfgang Puck’s pizzas are awful! We tried the cheese and the pepperoni….Couldn’t even finish them. (source)
  • Even his coffee, singled out by many posters as great, doesn’t please everybody.

  • If you drink coffee in the room, you will be greatly disappointed! Wolfgang Puck coffee is the absolute worst coffee on the planet! Though,overall the hotel was comfortable, it didn’t meet my expectations of a 3-star hotel. …read more (source)
  • Many consumers also find his restaurants pricey.

  • pay raises that do not require a vote ? numerous publications and news services ? Wolfgang Puck and restaurants where “most Americans could not afford to eat “ ? free parking ? lobbyists’ gifts ? (source)
  • And some negatives about his products.

  • Don’t buy Wolfgang Puck cookware, unless you want burnt hands from the hot handles. (source)
  • There is some sort of plastic tab at the back of the waffle maker that I can hear and feel lock into place after the plates are rotated for cooking the waffle. Based on the cheap construction I observed when I had the bottom removed, I am expecting that tab to break in the near future. We certainly won’t be buying another Wolfgang Puck waffle maker. (source)
  • At least no one contradicts the “adorable” comments ;-)

    Insights

    The people who like Wolfgang’s food really like it, and that’s no small achievement, but a key part of his philosophy is using natural, organic, local ingredients. He may well be doing that, but posters don’t mention it. So either he’s not communicating that message effectively, or it’s not something that’s apparent to people when they’re dining at one of his restaurants. Or, if they are aware of it, they still don’t think it’s worth mentioning.

    He also wants to be known for “the best in restaurant hospitality,” and many diners have pleasant experiences at his restaurants. But there are also many sound bites relating to bad service, and a few complaints from diners who were turned away because they didn’t meet the dress code at one of his more-upscale restaurants.

    He wants his Wolfgang Puck Express restaurants to be seen as affordable, but that’s always going to be a relative term. These restaurants “emphasize freshness and quality, preparing food fresh-to-order at affordable prices.” (source) Because he does that, he’s not able to compete on price with fast-food restaurants and sandwich shops, so positioning is key for him here to ensure consumers understand that these Express restaurants are going to be more expensive than those perceived competitors, but are also going to serve better food.

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