Katz's Deli, in New York City's Lower East Side, hasn't changed its pastrami recipe in 130 years. But the deli is willing to change the way it does business. On Tuesday, Katz's announced that it will launch a subscription food service next month.
Jake Dell, the 31-year-old fifth-generation owner of the iconic Jewish deli, tells Bloomberg that he's been wanting to launch Katz's subscription service for years. He says he especially wants to cater to "our regulars who've moved away but want to recreate that classic Katz experience at home."
The monthly subscription box, which costs $150 a month or $1,500 for a full year, contains enough food to feed four to six people. The first package in June includes one whole pastrami weighing between four and five pounds, a pound of sliced "juicy" pastrami, a full loaf of rye bread, pickles, a pound of mustard, and a Katz's t-shirt. In July, the Griller Package will feature more than 40 frankfurters and knockwurst, two knoblewurst, knishes, and sauerkraut. The September High Holidays Package will include two pounds of sliced brisket, potato kugel, matzoh ball soup, latkes and a chocolate babka.
Another part of Katz's new online business is its "Big Ticket Items" program, which range from $995 to $9,995. The Platinum package includes over 100 pounds of pastrami, which could feed up to 150 people, and comes with t-shirts and even an expert pastrami slicer who will fly to your party from New York.
Katz's is no stranger to shipping meat all over the world. It started its "Send A Salami to Your Boy in the Army" program during World War II, and that program continues to today.
In an earlier interview with Inc. this year, Dell said he wanted to use online sales to bring Katz's iconic New York food all overt he U.S. and eventually the world. Dell says the deli makes about 15,000 pounds of pastrami a week. Even though he sells a sandwich for $21.45, margins are thin. Dell explained they make it up in volume and shipping costs.
Last summer, Katz's opened a satellite location in downtown Brooklyn, which marked the deli's first expansion. The subscription service might sound silly at first, but Dell says the experience of getting Katz's meats delivered to your door will be moving.
"You smell the garlic as soon as you open the box," Dell told Bloomberg. "If that alone doesn't trigger something in you, I don't know what will."