That’s a long time, no matter how good the pizza is.
So Gino’s, in Chicago, somehow came up with a great distraction. They let you write on the walls.
Really. You can write on the walls. You can write on the table. You can write on the chair (if you use a sharpie so it dries right away.)
You can’t write on the walls in the bathroom, though some people write on the signs forbidding it. You can’t write on the tablecloth, though they do have crayons and placemats.
I’m loved Gino’s for years. I didn’t realize until last week, however, that by giving customers, fans really, the opportunity to break the cultural rule that says “don’t write on walls”, they have permission to keep people waiting for a kind of food that is almost a commodity. Yes, the pizza is terrific–thick, cheesy, chunks of tomato and sausage. But still, fifty minutes?
Why does this matter? Because I’m convinced that there are other rules that, if we didn’t worry about them, would help customers become fans. It may not be writing on the walls. It may be using dry erase markers on windows instead of white boards. It may be begging customers to leave comments on your blog, reviews on your website. It may be giving away handfuls of candy with every order of sound equipment (Sweetwater Sound does this, even if the order is a single microphone cable.)
But do something that says, “They care more about a great pizza than they do the walls of their restaurant.”
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