You’ll never guess what made me so nervous.

I had that queasy feeling in my tum-tum.  You know that one you get when you’re just a bit nervy because you’re afraid you don’t know what you’re doing?

All these questions were swirlin’ in my mind . . .

“How early should I get there?”

“What happens if I’m late?”

“What happens if I have to pee?”

“What do I wear?  Will people be in tuxedos?”

And so on.

What was I about to do?

You guessed it . . . I was 16 years old and I was about to see my first Broadway show.

Broadway is a big ol’ fancy brand . . . with an even fancier reputation (even though the answer to the ‘What do I wear to a Broadway Show?’ question these days is ‘anything you freakin’ want, including short-shorts and a tuxedo t-shirt!’).  And for people attending a Broadway show for the first time, it can be anxiety-inducing.

And you know what you don’t want from your customers?  Anxiety.  You want them to feel comfortable, at home, relaxed.  Because if they are comfortable, they will enjoy the show more, you’ll have better word of mouth . . . and they’ll also be much more likely to come back!

So what should we do?

We take a lesson from Nando’s Chicken.

That’s right.  Broadway should take lessons from a chicken chain.  (By the way, if you haven’t eaten at Nando’s you don’t even know what chicken is.)

I ate at Nando’s just yesterday (it’s across the street from the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore where I was checking in on Love Never Dies) and . . . well . . . I had never eaten there before.

I got the menu . . . and, well, I got a little nervy!  There were 10 people in line behind me, and I didn’t have a clue as to what to order!  And I didn’t want to be that guy . . . you know . . . the one that stares at a menu and then asks a zillion questions about a dish . . . only to order something completely different?  That guy.

That’s when I looked down, and I saw an item on the menu that said, “First time at Nando’s?  Look no further . . . ”

They took away my fears and told me what to do.

I was happy because the food was fantastic.  They were happy (because that line moved quickly and btw, they got me to order something a bit more expensive than many other items on the menu).

And I thought . . . every single Broadway show should have an FAQ about Broadway theatre-going for the first-timer, but especially shows that cater to first-timers (family shows, perhaps?).  And at the same time, maybe we can give them some advance information about cell phones and cellophane candies and such . . . and even explain why they should get the more expensive seat close up.

Answer your new customers’ questions for them, and you’ll find they buy faster and more often.

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