Free Hugs: One Restaurant's feel good business tactic

I love this new twist on giving things away and the old tired promotions that we have become blinkered to:

The Barbeque Joint in North Charleston is serving up more than just pork platters. In an effort to fatten up business, the restaurant’s owner decided to run a coupon for free hugs.”We were sitting around thinking of something to do. We’ve done buy one get ones and that type of stuff, and didn’t get a whole lot of response from it – or at least not new people. So, I thought well we’re placing the ad anyways – it would be funny,” said Cloud.

Customers say they are hog wild over the idea. “I would totally use this coupon just because it shows the atmosphere here…that it’s fun,” said Christine Stewart, a first-time customer.

Cloud said he has been getting similar responses a lot lately. In the last two weeks we’ve had a lot of new faces come through.”

Are there any similar promotions you could run in your restaurant or bar? Look for promotions that can get media attention as well as customers. A little bit of creativity can go a long way.