Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pop-Up Popularity

We have come a long way from our first pop-up dinner.  Going into that first dinner, we had no idea what to expect.  We were all strategizing a plan to call in favors, beg and even blackmail (if needed) people into buying tickets.  I remember vividly the groveling phone call I was prepared to give my mom to convince her that it was within her godly rights and (son's) best interest to guilt all of the ladies in her bible study class into buying a ticket.  Thankfully, she didn't have to.  Our first pop-up, with two social media posts as its grand marketing plan, sold out in 24 hours.  Actually, it oversold before we could turn the Paypal off.

Over the course of the next 17 dinners, we have slashed that time down to a whopping TWENTY SECONDS!  Most importantly, 97 young men have felt the love and encouragement that you all have given with your ardent support.  I will never EVER be able to thank you in words, but know this - before every dinner, we conduct a pre-shift meeting with the eight very nervous young men.  Part of my duty is to explain to them about the excitement of working at Cafe Momentum.  Each time, I tell them how many guests are coming and how quickly the dinner sold out.  If a picture is worth a thousand words, then the looks on their faces are priceless.  You see, for these young men those stats emphasize YOUR support and actuate a feeling they have never felt before - PRIDE.   For most of them, working at a pop-up dinner is the first time in their lives that they have ever had the opportunity to be a part of something so special.  

If you haven't had the opportunity to experience a pop-up dinner yet, I am sincerely sorry.  Please know that we are working feverishly to get the permanent restaurant open so that we may have the privilege of having you join us every night.  In the meantime, please continue to get on-line each month, and keep trying to purchase tickets because its that very support that starts the momentum... and the smiles.

NOW, over the course of 18 dinners some of you have dropped a few hints as to your secret strategies used to score tickets each month. Tsk tsk.  You should know that I can't keep secrets...

Hint #1 (The Refresh Method) - If tickets go on sale at 12:00, then be on the Eventbrite page at 11:57 and start hitting the refresh button repeatedly until noon.  At worst, you have done three minutes worth of finger exercises, and have earned a much deserved cookie break.

Hint #2 (The Buddy System) - Find a friend that wants to go too and strike a deal.  You call one another at 11:56.  Follow hint #1.  Spend the next four minutes repeatedly asking each, "Did you get in?" "No" "You" "No" until one of you gets in and BOOM, you order a ticket for each of you.

Hint #3 (Wait List) - While not the most sure fire method, this is flu (and every other virus) season.  February's dinner had 8 seats open up because of last minute cancellations due to illness.  SO sign up for the wait list, and then wish illness on those that got tickets already.  (not really, kinda)

I can't 100% guarantee that following these three hints will lead to a pop-up ticket, but it will earn you a cookie, a brief chat with a good friend, and pride for eight young men.


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