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Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger: How Belushi's Guiding Our Way

April 8, 2010

Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger: How Belushi’s Guiding Our Way

Cheezborger Cheezborger Cheezborger

Over the course of my illustrious internet surfing career, I’ve come across several blog articles and musings on the quote regarding how Henry Ford dealt with customers’ options for the color of their Model T.

I would like to put forth an alternative analogy to use when thinking of how to get your startup from the bootstrap stage to full-fledged rockin business; this one relies upon the brilliance that I like to call, “John Belushi’s Cheezborger.”

One of my favorite recurring skits from Saturday Night Live is called “The Olympia Restaurant.” (You can find a fine example on hulu here.) In the skit, customers come into a classic Chicago restaurant. John Belushi is behind the counter.  The customers approach to order.

Picture 37

Jane Curtin: I’ll have a tuna salad sandwich, and an order of French fries, please.

John Belushi: No. No tuna.

JC: You’re out of tuna?

JB: No tuna. Cheezborger? Come on, come on, come on! I don’t have all day, we gotta have turnover, turnover. [ turns to Male Customer ] What are you gonna have?

Male Customer: Uh.. I think I’ll have grilled cheese and a Coke.

JB: Uh.. [ turns to kitchen ] Grilled cheese?

Picture 38

Dan Aykroyd: No grilled cheese.

MC: No grilled cheese.

No Grilled Cheese- Cheeseburger.

MC: Uh.. cheezborger and a Coke.

JB: Uh, no Coke – Pepsi.

MC: Okay, uh.. Pepsi, and french fries.

JB: No fries – chips.

MC: Okay, chips.

JB: [ to kitchen ] One cheezborger, one Pepsi, one chip!

DA: Cheezborger!

Bill Murray: Pepsi! Chip! [ throws them onto the counter ]

And of course the mayhem continues.  (To see the rest of the transcript, go here. Can’t tell you how happy I was to have found that rather than transcribe it.)  The bottom line: The menu looked something like this:




The skit was based upon a real restaurant- the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago.  And I think you’ll agree that In ‘n Out has taken a cue from the Billy Goat playbook as well.  In fact, those two businesses have been around for 75 and 50 years, respectively. There’s a reason for this. Simplicity is cost-effective and breeds excellence.  When you have less items on your menu than fingers on your hand, they’re all going to be great or you’re going out of business quicker than you can say, “Cheezborger.”

So.. why have I really harped on the almighty “Cheezborger”, and what role does it play at PhatDeals?

Here’s our call to action on the front page:

Zip Code or CityIf you enter your zip code or city as being within Isla Vista or Goleta, you get to see the deals we have in Isla Vista and Goleta.

“Wait”, you say, “Doesn’t that make perfect sense?”

Of course it does.  But.. now try New York or Boston or Austin.. and lo and behold, you can find deals in Isla Vista and Goleta.

The thought behind this is that we’ll have deals in those areas but not quite yet.

If you are starting a new product line, or a full-blown business, I highly recommend giving your customers a Cheezborger, Chips and a Pepsi.

One Response to “Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger: How Belushi’s Guiding Our Way”

  1. 1 Hylton Says:

    Aaron, is great — I especially like the ability to send coupons to your phone. The retailers are also intrigued and enthusiastic when they take my phone, read the message, and punch in the code. The local/environmental angle of your site is very well thought out. You’ll make a great B-Corp!