Yesterday was a banner day for your good ole Uncle Dave because I was fortunate enough to buy tickets at $245 a pop to my favorite restaurant in the world, Alinea.
In case you missed it, I actually did say "fortunate" to by "tickets" at $245 each to a restaurant.
Let me 'splain, Lucy.
Alinea is ranked as the best restaurant in North American and fifth best in the entire world. I've been there three times and absolutely love it. Eating there represents some of my all-time favorite experiences. It's that special.
It's more than just dinner, it's an experience. From the moment you walk in, to the time you finish your 20th course with a wine pairing (yes, you read that correctly), you experience near perfection from the food, to wait staff all while being entertained.
Tomorrow, I'm going to discuss the actual dining experience, which is beautifully orchestrated sales choreography but today, I want to share with you the unique experience of making a reservation that the average run of the mill restaurant owner would tell you wouldn't work.
First, you don't make a reservation in the traditional sense. You buy a ticket just as if you were buying a ticket to a show or concert. Oh, and you can't call to make a reservation. You have to go to their website and open up an account by opting in with your name and email address.
After you that, you are taken to a calendar where you are allowed to make a reservation up to two months in advance. If you want to tickets, you best be on their site when tickets are released because they sell out quickly. They announce when tickets are on sale on their Facebook page so you need to check that often.
After you buy your tickets, you are locked-in. There are no cancelations. It's no different than getting tickets for a concert. If you can't make it to the show, you're out of luck.
What if you really want to go at the last minute and don't have a ticket? If they have an opening, they'll make an announcement on their Facebook page and via Twitter. Good luck, they go really quickly.
99.5 out of 100 restaurant owners would tell you that Alinea's methodology is insane and that it wouldn't work. "That's not how a restaurant does it, " the would protest.
The sad fact is, that's how most business owners respond to anything that is different from the industry norm. I have business owners tell me that webinars, teleseminars, in person group presentations and other forms of one to many selling won't work for them. "No one in my industry does it that way," they scream.
Okay by me. They can remain a part of the mediocre majority. It's no skin off my nose. Restaurants like Alinea and folks like myself will continue laugh all the way to the bank.
Kick butt, make mucho "DEEnero!"
Dave "Mr. Foodie" Dee
P.S. Obviously the Alinea strategy wouldn't work if their target market thought a big night out was going to Outback. They smartly decided to appeal to folks who have money. They make no apologies for catering to the affluent and understand how to do it.
If you want to discover how you game uplevel your target market and start selling to people who have money, then watch this video now.