Seth Godin has another great post today about a genius fast-food promotion:

Freaknomics points us to the greatest fast food promotion in memory. Beat the cashier in a game of rock paper scissors and save a buck.

What I absolutely love about this idea, other than its obvious remarkability, is the way it humanizes the previously automatonized front line worker. Instead of making them invisible, it makes them part of the deal. "Tell your Starbucks barrista a really funny joke, get a free biscotti (knock knock jokes not valid in some states.)"

Why not do this with your accounts payable people? Or give the customer service people the ability to give a prize to the nicest person who calls in each day? What's the worst that could happen--they might use a little judgment, might enjoy the day a bit more, might even start to care.

If you let them.

I love the idea for several of the same reasons. I guess I've always had a soft spot for the guy in the check-out line because I've been there/done that.

One of my biggest pet peeves is the people who go through the checkout line yacking on their cell phone without so much as a "hello" to the guy behind the counter. They're people too - not robots. I love the idea of reintroducing them to the customer, and rewarding the kind of behavior that treats the checkout guy as an individual who is involved in the process rather than a machine who cranks out change.

We don't have a California Tortilla in Fort Worth or I'd be there Wednesday to support the idea... despite the fact that I stink at Paper Rock Scissors.


chloeadele said...

I was once confronted by a homeless man who was looking for some money. Instead of just asking me for money though, he said that he'd tell me a joke for it. It was well worth the $5 or whatever it was I gave him. Very funny joke. No way you'll get me to share it though, it was quite dirty.

But I remember thinking that homeless people would get more money if they made it profitable to the person giving the money. Like playing a game of chess or rock, paper, scissors or telling jokes.

I also remember speaking in a variety of accents when I worked at Walgreens in order to get people to notice that I wasn't the self-serve line. Everyone loves different accents, and they acted like I was fascinting. My boss liked it because some people started to come in everyday just to buy a pint of ice cream and hear what I sounded like that day.