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St. Louis, MO, United States
What the name sez, Christian, conservative, 2nd amendment supporter. Physician, wife, daughter and loving mother.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Tale of Two Managers

I just returned from one of the St. Louis Recess Rallies. I attended the Rally held outside the office of Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan on the corner of Manchester and Brentwood. This is a busy major intersection with commercial and retail property on all corners. There were media estimates of 2000 people in attendance, with a smattering of Pro-Obamacare supporters represented as well. The crowd occupied the east and west sidewalks of Brentwood and the North corner of Manchester.

Protesters from both camps parked in commercial parking around the area and this is where my story begins.
About 30 minutes into the one hour rally, the manager of the Schnucks store came out and began to ask who the persons were who were responsible for the rally. He maintained that there were no places for his customers to park. Before taking my place with the ralliers, I had gone inside the Schnucks store and bought bottled water and snacks. $10 for an hour of parking is more than generous and represents $10 of commerce that the store would not have had if I had parked elsewhere. Fact is, there were few shoppers in the store when I went in to make my purchases. He was sour and unpleasant to everyone he encountered regardless of their side on the issue. He also asked someone why this intersection was chosen for the "protest." I guess he didn't even realize that Russ Carnahan had an office in the building across the street.

In the same strip mall as the Schnucks store, there are also about 5 or 6 much smaller stores including a Mr. Goodcents Sub Sandwich Shop. They looked out the window of their shop, saw the same full parking lot and the same crowd of people milling around on the sidewalk and instead of lemons, they made lemonade! The manager sent two employees out on the sidewalks with hands full of coupons for a free beverage and chips with the purchase of a half sub sandwich. His employees handed them out to as many people as possible and when they exhausted their supply, they went back to the shop for more and returned with trays of little cut-up assorted sub sandwiches for EVERYONE to enjoy with the hope that perhaps some would come in for a bite when the rally was over!

And, they did....Conservatives are quick to reward the entrepreneurial spirit and a trickle of demonstrators began to steadily make their way to the shop for lunch. We had all talked about where we would go at 1 PM when the rally ended and this made the decision simple and easy! Sub sandwiches, chips and a drink, served by friendly, eager employees who had taken ownership of a situation and turned it into an opportunity.

If the Schnucks manager had any sense or spirit, he could have done the same with something to woo people into the store before, during or after the rally and capitalize on the crowd in front of his establishment. There was a food demonstrator in the store giving out samples of a new Nature Valley Granola snack and coupons for 75 cents off the purchase of one bag when I was in the store shopping. They were yummy and I took advantage of the coupon to buy a bag for myself. He could have sent that lady outside to give out her samples and coupons. He could have sent a cart boy or a clerk outside with a grocery cart full of assorted beverages to sell. He's the manager, he's the boss, he could have done something other than stew.

So hats off to Kyle Gilbertson, manager of Mr. Goodcents Subs and Pastas at 8820 Manchester Road St. Louis, MO 63144. One of his employees also made sure that we knew that Mr. Goodcents also caters and delivers for events and meetings, should we need something in that line and sent me home with a catering menu and price list! These are my kind of young people!


  1. I really like this, this is America. Great story

  2. After the national suicide — I mean, the election of 2008 — I wrote an article about how businesses will have to be much smarter now. Don't react by raising prices to cover your raised taxes, but focus on customer service. Don't be cheap and lose business. That sort of thing.

    I know someone who is filing for bankruptcy. Lots of phone calls and letters. Places like Capital One simply dropped the account into collections. Others, like Discover, were surprisingly intelligent by offering to "work with you". They know that (a) someone that has had an account for years has probably paid off the principal and is only paying off interest now, and (b) they'd better do something because with bankruptcy, they'll probably not get a cent.

    Schnuck is being a Schnook. I wouldn't be surprised if he goes out of business and then blames B. Hussein Obama for his own mismanagement. Mr. Goodcents may very well be on the ball enough to prosper in this economy.

  3. Carolyn, Thank you for this GREAT story! I love it; Guerrilla Marketing at its best. I have not been to your blog before, although being a christian conservative myself I'll be back, but my first visit did prompt me to do a blog post about your blog and your article at my personal blog, http://DennisNorman.Com - the link to my post about you is: http://www.dennisnorman.com/marketing/guerrilla-marketing-101/
    God bless,
    Dennis Norman

  4. Thanks for your reciprocal link and your kind words!