Toilet-themed eatery inspires new restaurant marketing schemes
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 00:10
I’m going to be completely honest. There is no smooth way to start this column, so I’m just going to cut to the chase.
A newly-opened restaurant just surfaced in Southern California that, well, is entirely themed around toilets.
You may have trouble believing me on this one — after all, I am the guy who once convinced his high school friends he was NBC’s original choice for Noah Wiley’s character on “ER.” But this story is 100 percent true; an all dump-stop-grub-stop open to the public.
The Magic Restroom Cafe, as noted by a Huffington Post article, “is America's first toilet-themed eatery. All the dishes, seats and food items are all focused on toilets, bathrooms and human bodily functions.”
Located in the City of Industry in Los Angeles, this cuisine hut specializes in everything crapper. It boasts toilet-seat-topped stools, and all ambiance and decor is set up to resemble a bathroom — from the chic tiled floors to shower apparatuses located above tables. Food is even served inside miniature toilets, leaving nothing to ones defecatory imagination.
The menu features items such as “Golden Poop Over Rice,” “Smells Like Poop” and the already-popular vanilla-strawberry sundae, called — I can’t believe I’m typing this — the “Bloody Number Two.”
Their first evening of business — which owners, via Facebook, had no other choice but to call it their “soft opening” — took place last weekend to mixed but inquisitive reviews. Most negative responses were in lieu to slow service, but how much better can you do with a restaurant staff so backed up?
See what I did there?
The mere idea of “taking the Browns to the Super Bowl” and a family dinner all at the same time may not sound even the least bit appetizing, but in the world of restaurant marketing they have two mottos: “Hey, let’s not put severed fingers in our Frostys anymore,” and “It never hurts to try something original.”
It makes me wonder: if Economic Americana highlights a great deal of commercial eateries with less-than stellar reputations, what restaurants are in need of a useful and off-kilter facelift? And in case you didn’t catch the dramatic foreshadowing that was structured in that last sentence, it feels like there’s another annoying Steve Schwartzman humor column list afoot! Let’s get started.
Taco Bell — Everyone’s favorite place involving snack food — Doritos — wrapped around their own cuisine — dog food — hasn’t always been held to highest reputation as a stand-up establishment. For a few years now, you’ve gone the route of being the late-night, after party standard “Fourth Meal,” with not many results.
As a solution, let’s replace “Fourth Meal” with “Last Meal.” Set the whole get-up in a way that resembles an apocalypse and isolate all seating booths so it appears that patrons are on the real-life set of Will Smith’s “I am Legend.” They are the last people alive and this is the last meal within miles. With that kind of mentality, anyone would pay $4.56 for a gordita.
Subway — Listen, the $5 footlong has run its course. You need something that even more drastically screams “More food, low price, not lathered in chemicals.” So take an awed gander at this: “Sleep Number Sammies,” a sandwich that doubles as an adjustable bed. These low-condiment, high roasted-chicken, all-things delicious slumber pads not only promise big servings for low prices, but prove you can live a healthy lifestyle even in the comfort of your own tuna.
Some other marketable adjustments: flatbread yoga mats, waterbed beverage discounts, cookie “sheets” — this thing writes itself — and king-size party trays. Nothing like a “Slumbway” party to spice up your weekend.
KFC — Simple. Publicly claim you will be serving, in this exact verbiage, “The Aflac Duck.” You’ll thank me later.
Wendy’s — You have the Baconator. Change nothing.
McDonald’s — I don’t know if any other edible medium has ever been under such fire. It’s been a rough decade for you. Even when documentaries don’t claim you as the lard capital of the world, people don’t even respect the heat levels of your coffee.
I’ve thought through this a lot, so trust me when I say this is a gold mine that fixes just about every dunce hat you’ve been so burdened with: don’t serve food.
They’ll never see it coming. And in its place? Well, if you ask me, it’s time somebody of your stature finally hit a market that has been long forgotten for too long: model train sets. Imagine people pulling up to your window to order a “Big Track,” or a “Double Quarter-ton Freight with Trees.” Kids could enjoy their “Happy Wheel” while mom gets the usual “Railway of Fish”— light on sauce — and dad super-sizes his meal to a “Transcontinental” order.
We could even buy some alternate-from-station tracks for freights that are in a “McHurry.” It’s foolproof and sure to put the culinary industry on its ear. Keep the McRib the same, though. That was never really food to begin with.
I’m sure there’s more, but you get the idea. Enjoy Fall Break and remember not to be wary if anything you eat “tastes like crap.” That could’ve been their plan all along.
– Steve Schwartzman is a senior finishing a degree in communication studies. With eight years of column writing and improvisational comedy under his belt, he live to make you laugh. Send thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.