Thursday, June 12, 2008

No tomatoes = competitive advantage?

Salmonella in tomatoes should be turned into opportunity for eateries.

Over the last few days many eating establishments have been posting signs with the news that they are not serving tomatoes (due to the current warnings regarding salmonella food poisoning in raw tomatoes).

Obviously this is not the doing of fast food or sit down restaurants and customers seem to not be holding the issue about possible bad tomatoes against them.

However, no businesses that I've seen or heard about have tried to take this situation "by the horns" and do anything good with it.

For example, why not promote something like "while we have no tomatoes (like everyone else!), we'll give extra meat on your ham sandwich". The "extra" could be more fries, a price reduction on the order (due to lower costs due to no tomatoes), and so forth.

The point is... why not use this situation that is beyond local control and develop some offer of value to current customers and also be an incentive for new customers to give your business a try?

Be basic. Be creative. But at least consider doing something proactive.

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