The ‘pay what you can afford’ restaurant

in PR / Media

Dan’s Restaurant in Biddeford, Maine has introduced a new pricing policy in response to tightening purse strings – pay what you can afford. If something costs $20 and you’ve only got $12, then they’ll serve you up $12 worth.

A few ideas to consider:

1. Remarkable and timely. The new policy is remarkable enough to garner national media attention AND taps into a very current topic – the credit crunch. Work those two points in your own PR efforts.

2. Solving a problem. The policy is addressing a key customer pain – no money. What problems could you solve for your customers, clients and prospects?

3. Business models are not set in stone. Why do you have to do it that way? What sacred cows could you slay in your industry? Could you adopt a different business model, steal someone else’s or tweak your own as a point of differentiation?

Most importantly, this restaurant is building loyal customers for years to come.


Nigel Dean 06.23.08 at 8:33 am

I think this is a great idea for PR coverage rather than a practical idea for generating business. I would feel really bad if I had to sit and explain to a waiter that I didn’t have enough money – that’s enough to stop me actually going to the restaurant.

Having said that, the three ideas are right on the money! Constantly looking at how you can meet your customers (changing) requirements and tweaking your business model to suit is a great idea. But I think it’s important to stay focused on your long term strategy and make any changes within that framework – don’t completely re-invent your business every 10 minutes because you think your customers might prefer that, it would just cause confusion.

Mark Nagurski 06.24.08 at 5:07 pm

Hi Nigel,

I’d agree – ideally any change you make to marketing, business model, customer service policy or anything else should be within the ‘framework’ of a long-term strategy and consistent brand identity.

Having said that, consistency is only useful if the message itself is the right one. You shouldn’t be afraid of changing what you’re doing if it’s not working the way you want it to.

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