Start spreading the news, a New York pizzeria is offering a $1,000 pizza topped with caviar and lobster.
Actually, that is the best way to spread the news about your restaurant nowadays – make some ridiculously expensive item that no one (or almost no one) will ever buy and put out a press release. How long before other businesses try the same trick? Why don’t I write a book, print one copy and say it costs $2 million? That’s much more than I’d make if I did it the traditional way, and even if it didn’t sell, my name would be in the news for a week.
If I ever did sell a $2 million book, the first thing I’d do is go buy one of the $1,000 pizzas. Of course, I’d tell CNN and Fox and MSNBC exactly when I’d be at the pizza parlor so they could cover the “event” and give me even more publicity.
“How much with extra cheese?”
“Extra toppings are a $150.”
“Does that come with the garlic knots?”
“I’m not running a charity here. The garlic knots are extra – $75.”
The owner would ask me if I wanted my pizza cut in four pieces or eight, and I’d use the old Yogi Berra line, “Better make it four pieces. I don’t think I could eat eight.”
“Do you deliver?”
“Depends. Where do you live?”
“I just bought a million-dollar, one-bedroom apartment around the corner.”
“What are you? Crazy? A million dollars for an apartment? That’s outrageous. What are you – some kind of publicity hound? For that kind of money you could eat my pizza every night for more than three years.”
“Million dollar apartments don’t get any publicity. They’re common as dirt. A $5 million house doesn’t even raise eyebrows any more. There are plenty of them. Are these plastic forks all you have?”
“Mister, this is a pizza parlor, not the Ritz. You want silverware, go next door to the diner. They got a great cup of $200 coffee. I hear they got some great $1,500 meatloaf, too.”
“What could possibly make meatloaf worth $1,500 dollars?”
“The Kobe beef, the white truffles, the gold leaf. Would you like a glass of tap water with that pizza? It’s only 80$.”
“I can get tap water free at my new apartment.”
“Yeah, but it doesn’t come with four satellite trucks, two traffic copters and six print reporters.”
“I forgot, this isn’t about food, it’s about publicity. Eighty dollar glasses of water for everyone!”
“How’s the pizza?”
“Let me put it this way – if it were two dollars a slice, I don’t think you’d sell any.”
“That’s just what I thought.”
“What are you going to do with all the money you make from $1,000 pizzas?”
“Well, my wife has her eye on that $45,000 purse from Louis Vuitton.”
“Lucky for you, it’s sold out. Not a one left.”
“She had her heart set on it.”
“I think the guy who sells the $99 hamburger got one for his wife.”
Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at email@example.com
Copyright 2007, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.