Come on inside for dinner. Or for a show.

101_0367 Meet Tae.

Tae is the street-greeter at Bangkok House restaurant on 46th St, between 8th & 9th Avenues, also known as Restaurant Row. I see Tae every day on my way to work.  She always smiles, says hello, and then tries to get me inside for lunch or dinner.

She makes me feel special (even though I know it’s only because she wants me to try their special).

If you walk down Restaurant Row, you’ll see lots of people just like Tae, greeting passersby, and hawking their cuisine . . . and filling up their empty tables in the process, maximizing their revenue.

Know where I’m going with this?

We’ve got flyer folks in the streets, and TKTS promoters in front of the booth . . . but what about a Tae in front of the theater?  I’d bet you lunch at Bangkok House that she’d get enough folks to come in off the street and buy tickets that she’d pay for herself faster than you can say “perishable inventory.”  (Maybe you can even maximize your investment by having Tae sell your upgrades after she’s done working the street!)

We can learn a lot from our perishable inventory brother and sister industries around the world, from the airlines, to the restaurants, to the sports teams.  In fact, I think there should be a Perishable Inventory Convention, where the leaders of PI industries all over the globe get together to share the best practices for their business.

If there were a conference like that. I bet it’d sell out . . . and at the max price possible.

We might even see Tae out front, selling any last few remaining seats.


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  • La Cage Aux Folles is doing this very thing. I went two nights ago and they had several “ladies” outside, greeting ticket holders and engaging with anyone walking by. They were in full regalia and did a fantastic job working the crowd. Add to that the disco balls hanging off the marquee and a ton of pink lighting and the producers have really done an effective but cheap way of bringing the experience out of the theatre and giving potential audience member a little preview. I’m sure they pick up a few walk-ins just because of them. They also acted as ushers by coming into the house right before curtain and walking around reminding people of the theatre rules. (Our cagelle reminded everyone to keep their cellphones on and to take any and all incoming calls. She assured us the orchestra would stop and wait for us to finish and then re-start the show from the top.) I’m sure the costs for employing the ladies was minimal, but the value of starting the show when the audience and passers-by approach the theatre is far greater.

  • I do exactly that with our shows, partly to guide people to where the elevator is–we’re an upstairs theatre for now–but mainly to draw people in. Seems to work pretty well.

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