Thursday, 23 February 2012

Asakusa - byword for how to create demand

 If it were possible to bottle "being in demand" - Asakusa would be the distillers. 

I have a tough role at the moment, helping to communicate a new restaurant. I wasn't schooled in the catering or hospitality business, but I love a new challenge and I am foolhardy to the extreme if the project enthuses me and my belief is there.  At times, the task appears overwhelming and so a friend told me about a little local place in North London, that has people turning up at its door night on night, knowing full well that they would be turned away; self-consoling and self-flagellating on their way out, for not having booked in advance.  It isn't that they are fully booked well into the year, as some places do which have a machine to perpetuate their own image.  Usually you only need to call a week in advance for a Saturday dinner.  The owners, not at all phased, were extremely polite and graceful, to me that speaks volumes.

After our meal, as we shielded from the cold drizzle on this North London street, I commented on the truth that people had ritually, been turned away.  My friend had said, "I suppose, it gives the place an air of exclusivity*".  I said "No, it gives the place an air of being in demand, which is different to being "exclusive" altogether".  Because, I would never pride myself on being anywhere that considers itself exclusive......

"I don't care to belong to a club that accepts people like me as members."
                                                  Groucho Marx

*Subtitle - My friend had earlier that day lunched at Novikov in Mayfair. 

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