I have a friend that owned restaurant for five years then it closed because of various problems. We had several conversations over the past five years about marketing, but he never was a client. When he told me he was going to re-open the restaurant and I said, “OK. Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently this time? Could you make a list of 20 things you would or could do differently that would make it profitable this time around?” Good question. If you could start your business over, are there some things you’d do differently?
I told this friend that my wife and I just had lunch in a restaurant that same day. When we walked in at 12:40 we were the only couple in the restaurant. The waitress said that the crowd had just left. I thought couldn’t have been much of a crowd for the place to have been completely empty.
I said that if I owned a restaurant, café, bistro or someplace that served food, I would stack the deck somehow so it would look like there was always a crowd. People like to go where there is a crowd. We just went to see True Grit; there was a long line. We just spent a week in New Orleans; we waited in line an hour to see the New Orleans Jazz Band, paid $12 to get in, (there was good music in all the bars and cafes and on all the street corners for FREE) and then – we stood for another 45 minutes to watch the band play. It was a highlight of our trip to New Orleans for me. People like to go where there’s a crowd.
My friend says, “How could I make that happen in a restaurant?”
I said, “Let me tell you a story” We have about 80 Season Pass Holders at the Kentucky Opry. They just love the Opry and are there for every show. Our normal ticket price is in the $15 -$20 range for the shows. We sell the Season Pass for $325 which is about $3 per show if they come to all the shows. This Christmas I gathered them all together and asked if they would help me. They said yes, so I gave each of them 20 free passes to the show. A value of $300 each or about $24,000! I asked them if they ever came across people that have never been to our show and many replied yes all the time. I suggested they give the free passes to those people they meet like that; and tell them this:
“Mr. Campbell, that owns the Opry, gave us these free passes to give to people who have never been there before”. Then these new folks will come, and they will go back and THANK the people that gave them the free passes. It is being generous.
It works brilliantly for us. Generosity is good.. My wife Barbie said it was too much to give away; I said we’d write it off as advertising. That’s what it is. Good word of mouth advertising!
It makes the Season Pass holders happy, it makes the people happy that get the free tickets, it makes me happy because we have more butts in seats and more cars in the parking lot. When people walk in, many times they comment, "Wow there’s a lot of people here!” And that’s just what I want.
How could you apply this principal in your business? Most businesses do not suffer from not doing a good job with their business. They suffer from lack of good ideas on how to bring in more customers and lack of Pizazz.
pizazz - definition piz·zazz or pi·zazz or piz·zaz (p -z z ). n. Informal.
1. Dazzling style; flamboyance; flair.
2. Vigorous spirit; energy or excitement.
If you started your business over would you have good ideas for bringing in customers, and a little Pizazz?
Wizard of Ads Partners specialize in both.