What I learned from eating chips and salsa.

If you’ve ever hung around me outside of NYC, then you know I’ve been known to drool at the sight of a Chili’s.  Maybe it’s the bottomless chips & salsa, maybe it’s the bottomless cokes, but whatever it is, it gets me to stop, whether I’m hungry or not.

I was at a Chili’s recently and when I got the bill I noticed what so many of you have probably noticed at restaurants (and a lot of retail stores from Rite Aid to Starbucks, etc.) around the country . . . every bill now comes with an opportunity for you to win a grand or two if you fill out their online survey.  (check it out here.)

Here’s a company that’s not just surveying random people every once in awhile. They are making a concerted effort to try and get a quality control report on EVERY SINGLE patron (and, of course, they are also trying to collect consumer information at the same time).

Which, of course, leads me to the leading statement of . . . we should be doing the same thing.

Every person that purchases a ticket should get a survey (and maybe with a “win a pair of tickets to Book of Mormon” incentive on their theatergoing habits, their purchase experience, etc.

And actually, doing so would make the League’s yearly surveying unnecessary . . . and probably more accurate, because the electronic ask could probably reach more people over all seasons, all shows, etc.

These folks are right there . . . just a few clicks away . . . and they have the information at their fingertips that could help us tweak every aspect of what we do in order to make it more profitable for us and more pleasurable for them.

And now look what I’ve done.  My stomach is growling.

But it’s not chips and salsa I want.  It’s information.

Because chips and salsa keeps me satisfied for about two and half hours.

Information can sustain me for a lifetime.


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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.