Show, don’t tell–the “next” concept in social media

The newly opened Next Restaurant in Chicago, co-created by Grant Achatz & Nick Kokonas, is not just about the food (though it very much is), it’s also about the experience. According to their website, here’s how they describe the concept:

“Unlike an a la carte restaurant with many walk-in customers and dozens of menu items, Next is creating a truly unique dining experience and doing so at an amazing price. By eliminating no-shows, requiring pre-payment, and varying the price by time and day we are able to create a predictable and steady flow of patrons allowing us to offer a great deal more than would otherwise be possible at these prices. Please arrive within 15 minutes of your ticket time or we may be unable to serve you. Just like a sporting event, concert, or theater ticket all sales are final.”

What’s the price of these “golden” tickets? A minimum of $100 per person (plus wine pairings starting at $50). The Aviary, the adjoining bar, follows suit–but rest assured, your $18 drinks are shaken and stirred not by a bartender, but by a “cocktail chef.”

Without any advertising outside of social media and word-of-mouth, Next has already sold 20,000 tickets and the demand for tickets is so high that newly released tables on their website sell in just under 3 seconds! The hoopla and madness continues on their Facebook page where fans wait intently for an announcement releasing same-day tables. So how do the creators behind Next sell their high-priced concept restaurant to potential customers? They don’t talk about the quality, rarity and taste of their food, the perfectionism that goes into their presentation, the people behind the scenes that make it all happen, the meticulous service and the almost obssessive-compulsive attention to detail–they show it. An image is more powerful than words and if these videos don’t sell you on Next and Aviary, nothing else could.


Takeaway: In order to sell your concept, idea or product, don’t tell customers what to expect or why they should buy, show them. Use YouTube in much the same way as a television commercial–it may not reach as many people, but it costs less and gives you more than 30 seconds to show and sell.

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