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  • Last summer I worked at this place called Uncle Billy’s Brewery, we’re known for brewing our own beers in house. We have a very large selection, different styles and types of beers for everyone, uh, mainly we cater to guys and big groups of people. But mostly, guys come into the restaurant to watch TV, eat barbecue, and drink our beer. Uh, but last, last year before ACL, my manager, who’s this kinda squirrely guy he has a little mustache and he wears a tie everyday, he’s kinda short, decided that he wanted to cater to a larger audience during ACL so that we could make a lot more money. So he decided that we needed to go after the girl population, um, that’s gonna be attending ACL. And how do you get girls to come to a restaurant where we only serve beer? We needed to buy a little bit of liquor. So he went out and bought a bunch of cases of Uncle Tito’s tequila. Uncle Tito’s is a tequila that’s made in Austin so he felt okay with buying it. He bought a bunch of cases of it and put it in the back of the house and said ‘look you guys need to start trying to sell it now so that when ACL rolls around everybody knows that we have tequila and the ladies will come’. Well the problem is, it did not sell at all. We were not changing our target audience, girls weren’t coming in. Uh, and boys, who come to Uncle Billy’s to drink our beer, weren’t going to decide they randomly wanted to drink tequila, so we were having a really hard time getting it to sell. And one day when I was working I remembered that back in Dallas, where I’m from, me and my friends used to buy this really kind of gross brand of tequila, um, but it had a Mexican drinking worm at the bottom. And we all were okay with drinking it but when we got to the bottom the boys were obsessed with getting to be the person that got to drink the shot that had the Mexican drinking worm in it. And so, you know, I thought maybe this is a way that we could get the tequila to sell here if we have to get rid of it. So I went up to my manager and I said, ‘Look, Ryan, this is what I did back home, is there anyway that you think we could incorporate this into selling the tequila that we have now that we really need to get rid of’? Ryan thought it was a good idea, he said he’d think about it and run with it. And, a couple weeks later I came into work and we had a huge tub of distilled and sanitized minnows sitting in the back of the kitchen. And Ryan said that what we were going to do is start to put a minnow in every little shot of teq- Uncle Tito’s Tequila that we sold, and we would advertise it as “The minnow shot”. He put huge banners out in the front of the restaurant and had the girls, uh, who were the waitresses tell the boys ‘look, if you’re brave you’ll take the minnow shot’. Uh, it sold like crazy. The boys in groups loved to do it, especially if there were girls in the groups. Uh, the boys that came in by themselves weren’t so crazy about it, but for the huge groups it was a huge thing. The boys would come in to take the minnow shots. So overall, when ACL rolled around we sold all the tequila that we bought, we even bought a couple more cases and sold all of that. So it was a successful product launch in the end, um, I guess a couple things that I learned from it would be that first of all, in all honesty, it is really hard to change your target audience when you are an established restaurant that’s been there for a really long time catering to the same group of people. But second of all, boys will do just about anything to uh, seem brave or impressive in front of groups of people. So, you know, overall that was a really fun and good experience with Uncle Billy’s.
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