In my effort to frequent pretty much every restaurant in Myrtle Beach I found myself in a unique spot with an even more unique promotion. Off Socastee Blvd. there is a dusty place in a mini strip mall with a couple other businesses. Called the Sun-Up Sports Pub & Grill it is your quintessential dive with greasy food and cold drinks. From what I could tell it has its regulars and most likely the place had not been updated in years.
Sidney and I recently visited this establishment for the first time. We sat down and played a trivia game against each other. We finished our trivia contest (in a game where you can easily rack up 13,000 points Sidney beat me by the smallest of margins…ONE POINT) and asked for our tab. With the check came four little raffle tickets. The bartender explained that the raffle tickets corresponded to the couple rounds we ordered. For each drink purchased, she explained, you receive one ticket. You then write your name on it, give it back to the bartender, and it is placed in a pot.
Here comes the interesting part. Tickets are gathered all week long and then on Thursday at 8 p.m. there is a big drawing. A Sun-Up employee reaches into the pot and grabs a ticket and announces the name to the whole place. If the person is present at the time of his or her name being called then the lucky customer receives a cool $500 cash prize. If the person is not present then the Sun-Up doesn’t have to worry about paying out five Benjamins.
The bartender proudly stated that this little charade packs the place on Thursday nights. She also said that about half the time the person is actually present who has his/her name drawn. Of course numbers rushed through my head. Even if they paid out the $500 every single week the Sun-Up would still most likely be bringing in a decent profit each Thursday night with a crowded bar. Heck, chances are the winner would probably be giving most of the money back to the place anyway by purchasing celebratory drinks and shots for everyone else. However, on the nights where a winner isn’t present the Sun-Up gets to take full advantage of a packed place without losing a dime. Even if you pay out or don’t the joint still gets the valuable opportunity to make a favorable impression on customers and increase the chances that they will come back through the doors down the road.
I love something as straight forward and enticing as this. You won’t see me rushing down on Thursday nights (I get up early on Friday) but I know a lot of people who would, even with only one ticket in the probably bottomless pot. In my opinion this a great example of a business doing something innovative to stand out among all the other similar establishments. Well done. Don’t Blink.