The Daily Rail: Creative marketing with a purpose just makes sense

August 24, 2016

Today's Special

Watch: Are you ready for the new federal menu labeling regulations? [Under 60 Seconds]

Starting next year, many bars & restaurants will have to follow new menu labeling rules & regulations. Find out if your restaurant falls under this new regulation, see some examples of what will need to have nutrition labels, and what else you have to do to be in compliance.


Going for gold… per capita

The United States won the most medals at the Rio Olympics by a considerable distance but the story is much different when medal hauls are adjusted to take GDP and population into account.

When it comes to gold medals per population, the Bahamas is on top, with one winner from its population of just under 400,000. Jamaica won six gold medals in Rio from its population of 2.73 million people, equating to a population per gold medal of 454,323. Croatia rounds off Rio's top three "per capita champions", with a population of 844,880 per gold.

Infographic: The Per Capita Champions Of Rio | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

“Speedo no longer supporting dicks”

Someone prep the burn ward for this one.

The $40,000 Man

Ethiopian runner and silver medalist Feyisa Lilesa has raised more than $40K in a day after making a political gesture that he says could cost him his life. While crossing the Rio marathon, he crossed his arms over his head, a symbol of solidarity for his fellow Oromo people who have been clashing with Ethiopian security forces for almost a year now. Ethiopia’s prime minister rejects the idea that Lilesa would be killed or imprisoned for his gesture. 


Why it’s important to you: Two different guest checks, two very different stories.

Guests can surprise us with both their kindness and their cruelty. In recent days there have been two examples hat sit in stark relief of one another and deserve our attention as operators.

Citizens Only

The first is about a couple that wrote a horrible note in lieu of a tip at a popular Harrisonburg, VA restaurant called Jess’ Lunch. The restaurant has counter service and the couple in question visited, paid their check via credit card and exited. It wasn’t until later the US-born Latina server noticed the horrible note scribbled in the tip line on the receipt: “We Only Tip Citizens.” Really? And you know this woman is not a US citizen how? They have since been banned from the restaurant by owner Angeliki Floros, herself a Greek immigrant of 15 years. The server, Sadina Karina Elledge, showed the CC slip to her grandfather, John Elledge, who promptly posted it to Facebook to share his outrage. It immediately went viral. We sure hope the couple in question saw just how infamous they have become and learn a lesson. 

A little kindness goes a long way

A week ago Monday, Kasey Simmons, an employee at a Dallas-are Applebee’s (yup, they’re Citizens of the Rail) was grocery shopping when he saw an older woman waiting to check out and looking dejected. Simmons chose to engage the woman and when she reached the register Simmons paid her $17 bill and went on his way, feeling as if he had done some good in the world. Turns out the woman was upset because it was the third anniversary of her husband’s death, and Simmons small kindness eased the pain of that loss. And here’s the rub, the next day the woman’s daughter found Simmons at Applebee’s and tipped him $500 for this kindness. An ‘attaboy’ to Kasey, the woman’s daughter and Applebee’s for insuring this kindness led to more kindness and gratitude. Now that’s the American we think is always great.


Why it’s important to you: Creative marketing with a purpose just makes sense.

When you are a hot up and coming chain like Shake Shack, it’s not hard to get the attention of famous people that love your food. Turns out Al Roker, the Today Show weather guy, has teamed up to sell an eponymous burger (The Roker Burger) with Niman Ranch pulled pork, two slices of American cheese, pickles, Sriracha and coffee-spiked mayonnaise. It’s a limited time item that sells for $7.49 with $1 going to No Kid Hungry, a group dedicated to ending child hunger. Now we could focus on the irony of a guy that had gastric bypass surgery stumping a burger so rich & fatty (no diet should include it regularly), but instead we want you to consider this purpose-built marketing idea for your own business.

Why not emulate this promotion in your own restaurant? Inviting a well know community member to create a menu item that is named after them with a philanthropic aim. It’s a win for all involved. The big guys have been hooking their wagons to stars for years, but smaller operators have little opportunity to leverage the same. The good news is any high profile community member that connects with you for the fund raiser will likely use their own marketing and communications channels to invite friends and family to support their charity by visiting your restaurant. Instead of discounting to drive traffic, you are giving the money to charity. You get to feel good and build your business at the same time.


Why it’s important to you: It doesn’t pay to leave a guest unattended.

Last Thursday in Foxboro, MA, a Patriots fan had a bite at a stadium-area restaurant before the game. As everyone else left to get into Gillette, this guy hung back and finished his appetizer and drink. Those of us that have run places near a pro park know that as soon as the game starts you can take a well-deserved breather and recover from the intense rush. This is when this Pat’s fan thought it was time to help himself to a piece of memorabilia from the restaurant’s wall — a 2014 Superbowl season helmet signed by the entire team. The irony is the restaurant didn’t notice until the guy called and fessed up to not only stealing the helmet, but also running out on his check.

Now you might be thinking: this is a Patriot’s fan, so no real big surprise there. This is the team that brought us Spygate and most recently Deflategate, but is this worthy of its own ‘gate’ appellation? Maybe. Locks were made to keep honest people honest and leaving a guest unattended, no matter how busy you just were, is recipe for this sort of disaster. The story has the potential for a happy outcome….wait for it….the restaurant caught the whole episode on camera. The real question is will the League be okay with them taping?