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Fixing the Economy - Dr. Flinchbaugh

Free Food for Big Business?

A couple of weeks ago during Insight on Business I suggested business owners shakeWaiter food out some "old" marketing tricks to lure and retain consumers.  One of them was the "free food offer".  You want a crowd or even a select crowd?  Pile on the food. Here is that link to the story and the article from the Wall Street Journal.

It's worked for decades and it can be teased and twisted into some cooperative ventures. For example, let's say you don't want the total expense of buying prepared goodies from the store.  Why not get creative and do a cooperative event with an emerging establishment?   You get the idea.

Now comes Stephen Siegel of Las Vegas who is turning around business after business and one of his "gimmicks" is the free food offer. Here is that story from Portfolio.com. written by Steve Friess.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

That got me to thinking about the "old days" of Las Vegas and how cheep the food and the rooms were.  A seasoned poker dealer who worked the casinos in the '60's and '70's once told me how and why it worked so well.  "In the old days the guys who were running the casinos paid taxes on food and room sales.  The real money was in the gambling.  So if you  were a 'player', maybe not even a big roller, the operators would 'comp' all sorts of things that were taxed.  It was their 'loss leader'.  The take from gambling was what they were after and nobody kept solid books then.  Every few hours these guys would haul cash out the back door and report just a small percentage of the take.  It worked for years until Vegas became respectable and they got greedy.  Now it's hard to get much for free."

That story came back to me when I read about Stephen Siegel and his "new idea" which...isn't so new but it's done with a new twist.   What kind of "old tricks" are there that you can dust off to create new business.  Sometimes the best ideas are really, really old.  Ready to cook something up?

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