Don’t @#&% your locals.

I walked into an unfamiliar Times Square deli last week on one of those cook-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk days and ordered up my usual can of Coke.  The deli-keep said, “That’s $1.75.”

“$1.75?  Really?”


Now look, I’m a little principled when it comes to my Coke . . . especially since I buy so much of it that I should have my own island at Atlanta’s World of Coke.  And since I knew this can wasn’t a collector’s item or laced with gold, I put away my billfold and started to walk out the door, figuring I’d grab a $1 Coke from my favorite hot dog vendor on the street.

“Wait, wait,” yelled the proprietor.  “What’s the matter?”

“I can get it for $1 about 50 yards from here.”

“Well, ok.”

Then I got inquisitive.

“Why do you charge so much more?”

“For tourists . . .”

And then he smiled like a Disney villain.

Ok, so this deli was in a high rent area, and there were a lot of people speaking in different languages grazing at his salad bar.

But I didn’t see any locals around.  And after learning that he was going to charge almost double what others were charging for my 12 ounces of sugary brown carbonated heaven, I understood why.

And come September, when the tourists are gone, and there are nothing but locals left in our fair Times Square . . . guess where we won’t be shopping?

Yes, maximize your profits.  Know who drives your bottom line.  But be careful about turning away a base audience that could keep you in business for years, not just one season (I’m talking about locals, subscribers, multi-buyers, etc.)

Because your bottom line has no fury, like a local scorned.


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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.