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Bald Ambition

Hell-bent on getting attention? Try a zany marketing stunt.

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This story appears in the December 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Bald isn't just beautiful-it's also economic.Restaurateur Gary Arnold, 52, saw to that earlier this year when hebegan offering balding customers a discount on Wednesdays. Peoplewith half their hair receive a 50 percent discount, and for Kojaklookalikes, the whole enchilada is free. Gary's UptownRestaurant and Bar in Lodi, California, has received a ton ofnational press, and the customers "have a lot of fun,"says co-owner and Arnold's wife, Debra, 39.

But marketing gimmicks can backfire. In 1999, anotherrestaurant, Casa Sanchez in San Francisco, began offering a freeburrito a day for life to anybody who would get a tattoo of theirrestaurant's logo-a boy wearing a sombrero and riding afiery corncob. But the owners stopped after 40 people because theycalculated that if each person took them up on the offer for thenext 50 years, it would cost $5.8 million. And this year, the stateof New Jersey banned "Ladies Night" in bars because sixyears ago, a litigious man learned he had to pay $5 to get into abar, while women paid $1.

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