Think of your favorite place to go for food—what is it that you love about it? Is it simply about the food itself (an eat-and-get-out mindset)? Or does it take much more than that to gain your business?
My family and I are all about the whole dining experience! My all-time favorite eating spots are places that offer some sort of extra, special experience along with the meal…it’s like a signature for each place that makes it special and different.
The Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago is my favorite example of an all-around positive and memorable restaurant experience. This place is a real classic! They offer the most atmosphere, history, and fun I’ve ever seen within a small and simple restaurant. They were parodied on Saturday Night Live by John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray and Loraine Newman in 1978 and become nationally famous as “the guys behind the counter yelling at customers as soon as they walk in.” It’s super entertaining and sounds something like this: “Cheezborger! Cheezborger! You want doublecheez?!? Who’s next!?! WHO’S NEXT!?!”
Here are some other common answers exclaimed by Billy Goat Tavern staff:
If you take more than one second to answer the guy behind the counter, then he may yell something like: “Don’t look at the menu, look at ME! I order for you – DOUBLECHEEZ!”
If you only feel like a single, then the answer could be: “No. DOUBLECHEEZ!”
If it’s the end of the week: “It’s Friday, doublecheez for everybody! It’s payday! Triplecheez for the big guy!”
Want French fries with that? You may hear: “No fries – CHEEPS!”
Thirsty? Responses include: “No Pepsi – COKE!” or “Coke or Diet?!”
My first time in there, I tried ordering a steak sandwich but didn’t speak up enough for the guy, so I ended up with a “DoubleCheez,” which gave us something to laugh about. You just have to see the antics and atmosphere for yourself! Here’s a clip to tide you over:
How could anyone forget a restaurant like that? I highly suggest checking out The Billy Goat Tavern’s website to read more on their rich history. Then, find the Saturday Night Live video online and plan a night to check the place out for dinner and drinks. You will not regret it! They have several locations in the Chicagoland area (even Aurora is expected to get one soon), but I think the best one is the original, located on Michigan Ave in downtown Chicago. The Billy Goat Tavern is really a great place to eat and experience for families. Not to mention, their famous “DoubleCheez” is really good!
As amazing as Billy Goat Tavern is, there are other great places that offer a real experiences and great menu options, too. At Coldstone Creamery, the workers use metal ice cream scoops to put on a fun show for customers by clashing them together in tune to a song they all sing. At BD’s Mongolian Grill, the cooks toss their cooking utensils like batons and ring a big gong while customers are watching. AtDave and Buster’s, you can get an “eat and play combo” for a small additional cost and play shuffleboard, virtual driving games, and more after you eat your dinner. And who can forget Ed Debevic’s, where the waiters are intentionally rude and sarcastically funny to the customers. These eating places are selling so much more than a meal: the experience of just being there makes it even much more fun! It brings repeat customers (like my family) into the establishment over and over again.
I think extras at restaurants like these make them even more appealing and keep us going back for more! But do you think all customers feel this way? If they visit often, would they get annoyed? Or do they expect these extras when they come to that restaurant? How do other types of businesses use extras to pull in customers?
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