#22 Richard Morse – Promoter

| November 24, 2011 | 0 Comments

The most important thing about managing a restaurant is not the chef. It’s not the ingredients or the kitchen or the staff. In fact, I’ve found that when owners focus too much on their food, the restaurants tend to suffer for it.

No, the most important aspect of a restaurant’s success is advertising and publicity. A good restaurant will survive pretty much anything, but it will never be the toast of the town by itself. However even the worst greasy spoon can have a three week waiting list to get in, if they have the right talk about them.

And that’s my job. I take the restaurants that no one has ever heard of and make the rich, famous, and powerful fight to get through their doors. Usually it’s a pretty simple task. Drum up some publicity, get tongues wagging, and eventually the masses start beating a path to the door. Most times it’s as easy as getting the right reviewer to show up and have a meal. Other places take a lot more work.

I remember one little restaurant that was like that. It was a cockroach-infested rat trap that health department was one inspection from shutting down. The owners didn’t want to spend any money. They just wanted to squeeze as much out of the place as they could before it was closed. I was working on shoestring budget with no resources. Luckily a major studio was filming a movie in town. I hired two out of work actors, a cheap and readily available commodity, made them up to look like the movie’s leads, and had them eat a romantic meal at the diner. I took some pictures, leaked them to the tabloids and the fervor tripled the place’s business. Every time the stars denied the relationship, twenty more people tried to get reservations at a restaurant they wouldn’t have used the john in the week before.

Now some people call me an opportunistic filch. But I’m not. The market is ruled by the law of supply and demand. The food’s the same as before, I just dress it up nice and increase the demand.

Category: 2011

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