MARKETING: The Customer Is Always Right

The Customer Is Always Right

California Restaurateur Jerome Rowitch had a problem: How could he attract the residents of Marina del Rey, Malibu, Santa Monica and other affluent Los Angeles suburbs to his Sculpture Gardens restaurant in a decidedly unfashionable section of nearby Venice? His solution: invite diners to name their own price. Rowitch mailed 3,000 promotional flyers to households with incomes of at least $50,000, promising customers that they could enjoy such delicacies as rabbit in Cabernet sauce, New Zealand cockles in white wine or black spaghettini in roasted red pepper -- and pay whatever they thought the food was worth.

The gimmick was instantly...

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