Winning customers by stretching the rules

For those Syracuseans not in the know, Funk 'N' Waffles is a great little spot on the SU hill. It has a menu of interesting waffle creations (including chicken & waffles, pulled pork waffles, and a new favorite for some of my friends: a stuffing waffle with turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce), good coffee, and free wifi.

They are good citizens, opting for local eggs, Dinosaur BarBQue sauces, and other local options when possible.

The only complaint I've ever thought of is that they close at 4:30 on Mondays, which is kind of early.

So, as co-chair of the 40 Below Civic Engagement Task Force, I approached the venue about staying open a little later to host a social networking event, which started at 5:30. I arrived a little before 5, and was pleased to see they had something of a walk-in crowd, which meant they weren't bored in that hour between when they typically close and when we were to start.

Then we brought in 16 people – very few of whom had been there before. And almost to a person, they were so impressed with the venue that they said they would not only return, but bring other new people.

If eight of those people do return with two new people each, and then half of those new people do the same, that's a lot of new customers, thanks to being willing to keep the lights on and paying two employees for four extra hours.

That's a minimal investment for a lot of new customers – and let's not forget that so much of small business marketing is helping the non-profits in your area.

Awesome job, Funk 'N' Waffles.

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4 Comments

  • Posted 21/09/2010 at 16:43 | Permalink

    Love that place, and I’m glad they kept it open for you. I hope it does turn into a lot of new business for them.

  • Posted 22/09/2010 at 12:10 | Permalink

    I really need to check them out.

  • Posted 22/09/2010 at 15:09 | Permalink

    Keith, yes you do.

    Mitch, we need an excuse to get back down there.

  • Posted 24/09/2010 at 09:48 | Permalink

    Get us football tickets again; I’ll find something else to lose this time around. lol

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