Why is it that free food brings out the beast in us? Now before I continue, this article does NOT include the less fortunate, homeless, or impoverished people. I believe it a tragedy that people in the United States will go to bed tonight without a meal. So before I go on, please know how fortunate you are to know where your will enjoy your next meal.
There's nothing like gathering with friends, attending a charity event, or celebrating a milestone over a great meal. But why are retailers selling vehicles, home entertainment theaters, or expensive real estate by luring just about anyone to a sale with food? What does this say about target marketing? Maybe a lot.
Let's say you are out running errands mid-day Saturday. Your list includes the dry cleaners, the grocery store, and wait........a new car! On the radio you hear, free hot dogs all day long at the dealership across town. Yep, you may be in the middle of a 36 month lease with no out but that's not standing in between you and that dog with mustard and relish. After all, the new series is now on the lot with the updated cockpit. How's that for target marketing? This is certainly a small investment but what about the pay-off?
What is it about free food?
Forty miles outside of Atlanta, there is a family run tack and feed store that has an annual birthday celebration. It's known across five counties because they have free burgers and hot dogs. Kid you not; the celebration brings in hundreds of people from miles around. There are lines of people that extend from the store into the parking lot. There is never a line at the cash register. Every year I'm reminded about the event by fellow boarders at my barn shouting, "Heading up to the annual celebration before the burgers are gone. See you there!"
There is a famous Bed and Breakfast in Florida that is known for its Friday afternoon cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. I actually witnessed a local resident filling his plate and ordering a water from the bar. I could go on and on about co-workers suffering through Chamber of Commerce meetings because of FREE bacon-wrapped shrimp with a FREE soft serve bar. Or the famous girl in New York that joined an online dating site to, you guessed it, get FREE meals five days a week. Don't believe me? OK, it's Leno but it's still true http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QVgk4i_bfQ
Perhaps all of us simply yearn for social interaction. Nah. It's the free food.