Marketing for the bladder

Making the most of customers who "just drop in"

We had a monster event in my town yesterday - for the first time in 45 years, our team was in the final of the cup. I'm talking about football of course, the type you play with your feet. (If you are one of those who play football with their hands, you can think of it as the Superbowl, German style.)

As might be expected, the town was packed. Everything was decorated red and black, the public viewing areas were full, and every pub, restaurant and ice cream parlour had TVs inside and out. This being Germany, beer flowed copiously, and - of course - the public toilets were overstretched.

But not as overstretched as the pub landlord we encountered at one of our favourite bars in a side-street beside the main viewing area. He was (politely, but with obvious signs of stress) asking everyone approaching his door if they wanted to buy a drink, or just use the facilities. Every one who just wanted to pee, he turned away. He must have turned away literally hundreds of fans. They took it well, but that's not the point.

Now, two things are important to know here.

1) This is a truly excellent bar with terrific food, but which is not especially well known in the town.
2) All the people he was excluding were local folks (after all, they were there to support the team).

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

This landlord was presented with an opportunity to impress a couple of hundred local people with a good experience. Lord knows how much he would spend on advertising to get that many people to put their heads inside the door. Instead of politely disappointing the happy throng, he could have given them a cracking welcome.

It would only have meant buying in a few dozen extra toilet rolls, employing an extra member of staff to keep things clean, maybe even decorating the loos in football colours.
Better still, he could have given those few hundred casual visitors a positive surprise - how about a free drink next week, or a half-price voucher for his excellent (but widely unknown) food?

Folks, if you are in the hospitality biz, all those people coming in to use the "bathroom" are potential customers. Do you want to send them home, or give them a reason to come back and stay?

P.S. The result of the game?


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