In honor of Macaroni Grill’s 100 millionth glass of house wine (‘vino’) being sold, every Tuesday this month we are offering the stuff for just $1.99! While the idea certainly seems like something that would attract bargain hunters and alcoholics, Tuesdays are as just boring and dead as ever. Once again my restaurant is failing to excite the masses.
Worse yet, those few guests who do visit the restaurant are completely ignorant of the sale, or don’t drink. Selling alcohol is a surefire way to increase sales and tips overall, so it has become everyone’s personal mission to sell as much of the stuff as they possibly can. Management (who is still as inept, thanks for asking) is attempting to motivate us even further with incentives based on how much wine we sell. While at one point in the competition the prospect of a gondola ride (or whatever the grand prize is) had people genuinely focused on selling wine, a month later the great divide between our strong salespeople and the weak ones has made itself clear.
I’m happily somewhere in the middle with about 150 glasses sold in the past month: I’m nowhere near leading the contest (the number one seller has about 500 glasses under his belt) but I’m not in danger of getting reprimanded for being unmotivated, for once. Selling something is as easy as asking someone if they want it. People are easily influenced, so merely suggesting a drink or entrée to a customer usually ends in them ordering it.
This is also true elsewhere in the sales industry. Aaron once bought a junk refrigerator because the salesperson told them it was ‘better’ than any other model in the store. Of course, they didn’t even bother to explain why it was better before Aaron pulled out his checkbook and started asking about home delivery.
At the Macaroni Grill all of our tables are covered in butcher paper so the guests can write on them with crayons we provide. Being the lover of crayons that I am, I think this is one of the cooler things they offer. Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you like tacked on advertising) the servers are now required to write advertising slogans all over the empty tablecloths. The idea is that a guest will sit down at the table, see a wine slogan on it, and begin to order drinks with reckless abandon. In reality it doesn’t quite work like this, and more often than not I get comments not related to the wine, but the fact that the table has writing all over it.
Since forcing these slogans onto the masses is required for the time being, I have taken it upon myself to be creative with the ones I do write. When all else fails, use alliteration:
- Vino, Las Vegas
- Vino, to the eXtreme
- Vino-Saurus Rex
- Vino, for Vendetta
- Vino Victorious
- Vino, Viti, Vici