There's only one way to describe it: It's diner theater. That's our take, anyway, on restaurateurs Bambi-Lynn and Coy Ramsey's novel notion of selling movie tickets to the patrons of their diner.
"I thought it was a neat idea," says Bambi-Lynn Ramsey, 39, explaining why Simpson's Diner in Houston, which the couple recently sold, began offering customers tickets to a nearby cinema last November. "I thought that if we could provide movie tickets at the diner, people wouldn't be in such a rush to eat."
As it turns out, she was right. Not only was their movie-ticket service a much-appreciated convenience, it was also an opportunity for customers to spend their extra time ordering extra menu items--say, appetizers or desserts. "We took no profit whatsoever from the tickets," explains Ramsey. "It was just [a way] to help our business [through higher check amounts]."
And it did. Ramsey, along with her husband, Coy, 44, is planning to open the doors to a new Houston diner--Avalon Diner II--by the time you read this. The Ramseys plan to implement their movie ticket promotion at this new location as well.
"I really believe it brings people to your restaurant," says Ramsey, who spurred on employee enthusiasm by offering free movie tickets to those with the best sales records. "It's very simple to do as long as you're organized and have good communication [with your staff]."
Simple. Effective. And it sounds like the ticket to us.