All posts by ideaguy

How to Make Your Restaurant Memorable

Image Courtesy of
Image Courtesy of

Are you a Dirty John’s virgin?

We have a local restaurant called New Way Lunch. They sell hot dogs. Not your regular hot dogs. These hot dogs stink. I mean really stink. They will smell up your vehicle for a few days. If you bring them back to the office, everyone knows what you’re having for lunch. But they taste awesome. And the taste stays in your mouth for the rest of the day.

New Way has been open for for about 75 years. The original owner, whose name was John, worked all the time and his clothes were always covered in food. So the restaurant has been informally called “Dirty John’s”. And the special sauce they put on the hot dogs is made and kept in a pot that sits on the grill all day long.

So everyone in town has to go and get their “Dirt Dogs”, or “Dirt Sticks”, or just plain “Dirts”. I have several relatives who have moved out of town, who, when coming back to town, have to stop at Dirty John’s before they even come to visit. How’s that for loyalty?

Another local restaurant, Antonio’s Pizza Place has cool names for all of his Pizzas:

  • The B.C. – Chicken and Bacon live in harmony in this fantastic pizza
  • The Don Ho – Fresh Ham & Pineapple
  • The 70’s – Three blends of the world’s best cheeses
  • The Paleface – All white no sauce pizza delight
  • The Ciaciotta – Large superstuffed pizza filled with lots of meats and cheeses
  • The Old McDonald – Spinach, chicken, mushroom, and ricotta cheese (no sauce)
  • The Enrico Fermmi  – Spicy hot Peppers, bleu cheese dressing, mozzarella cheese, and Enrico’s famous “Atomic” sauce
  • The Bulls Eye – Ranch dressing, tomatoes, spinach, and mushrooms
  • The BarBCutie – BBQ sauce, chicken, and onions

Now, when you’re on your way home, thinking of what to have for dinner, you think to yourself, “I could really go for a Don Ho!”. When you think of a Don Ho, you think of Antonio’s, don’t you? You can’t get a Don Ho from Pizza Hut, only Antonio’s.

Now think of some funky cool names for your dishes. Make them memorable. Customers will associate the funky name of the dish with your restaurant, and no one elses.

Need Ideas for Promotions for Your Business?

man with gift

Try using a “holiday” that relates to your business.

I posted this on my Twitter account, but I though I’d add a few nuggets here.

Here are some “observances” you can use for January:

  • Financial Planners: Financial Wellness Month
  • Computer Repair: National Clean Up Your Computer Month
  • Eye Doctor: National Glaucoma Awareness Month
  • Book Store: Book Blitz Month
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day: 15 – send them an email with a survey (and a discount)
  • Women in Blue Jeans Day: 15-16 – second hand shop – sale on all blue jeans!
  • Nothing Day: 16 – buy 1 get 1 for NOTHING!
  • Camcorder Day: 20 – 20% off all camcorders, today only!
  • Answer Your Cats Questions Day: 22 – pet store – bring your cat in for a special psychic reading!
  • Belly Laugh Day: 24 – video store – all comedy DVD’s half off!
  • National Peanut Brittle Day: 26 – buy an item over $20, get a free box of peanut brittle ($ store brand OK)
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day: 26 – come in and pop with us!
  • Fun at Work Day: 30 – send them an email with a link to a funny video you’ve posted to youtube, at the end of the video tell them the word of the day. If they come to your store, they get 30% off!

I didn’t make any of these up. These are courtesy of the fine folks at: