25 December 2017
On Friday, I went with some friends to get a burger from Hi Pointe Drive In (a small St. Louis restaurant). Before I left home, I checked their Facebook page to see if they had a special burger on the menu. Here’s what I found:
As I scrolled down the page, I realized that they didn’t just have a special for that day; rather, they have a special sandwich or burger EVERY day. And they’re not just slight variations on a burger. Each one is a memorably audacious combination of ingredients, like a shark po’boy with fried radish shoestrings and a bacon-wrapped chicken alfredo lasagna on provel-pesto garlic bread:
Each Facebook post was a hive of activity, with people sharing their awe and appetite and linking to friends who had to see what was happening. There were communities forming around sandwiches. And based on the crowds I’ve seen at Hi Pointe, these posts are translating into a successful business.
I didn’t order the Friday special (triple cheese triple bacon double patty on pretzel bun and jalapeño cheese sticks), but I saw several being delivered to tables. The servers treated them like a big deal, almost ceremoniously, as they presented them to customers. They were special.
All of these factors added up to me changing my Hi Pointe Drive In Facebook notification settings to “see first,” which means that they’ll appear at the top of my feed. I don’t want to miss out on seeing (and maybe eating) the next outlandish creation.
Hi Pointe Drive In treats every day like its special. In doing so, they give their customers a reason to pay attention and participate every day, even if it’s just to admire (or cringe) at that day’s sandwich.
What does this mean for Kickstarter creators?
I love the idea of giving backers a compelling reason to check in on the project page every day. The reason doesn’t need to be the same every day: Sometimes it might be a new update. Other days it might be a new stretch goal, image, or review. And sometimes, frankly, backers might just want to check in to see how the project is funding.
Also, note that Hi Point Drive In’s specials aren’t exclusive. They’re careful not to say that they’re one-time creations that are exclusive to today and will never be seen again. Because they’re creating this massive menu of interesting sandwiches, and they know they can best serve their customers by featuring these specials again someday. That doesn’t make them any less special.
What does this mean for other companies?
Social media is the most powerful when it’s tied to other aspects of the business. Hi Pointe’s social media has these photos to post because the chef is making these burgers. I think this is a great reminder that social media isn’t an isolated job–it’s quite effective when your social media person can be part of the creative process.
What does this mean for tabletop game publishers?
I’d like to hear your thoughts on this. My current approach to Stonemaier Games’ Facebook page is to post links these blog entries (2 posts a week) and links to my game design YouTube channel (2 videos a week). Otherwise, my activity is fragmented among various game-specific Facebook groups.
Honestly, it’s tough to think of something burger-worthy of posting every day, especially if it’s consistently themed. Like, I could probably post a strategy tip for one of our games every day, but eventually I’d have to start to recycle them. I could post a crowdfunding, entrepreneurship, or game design tip every day…. I’ll have to think about this. Do you have any ideas?
What do you think? Have you seen other restaurants offer something truly special every day? How does that impact you as a customer?
This is a series that will feature innovative strategies from non-Kickstarter, non-tabletop game companies as they might apply to other businesses. If you have any recommendations, please send them to email@example.com.