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Finding upsides in a down market

Restaurants offer drink specials for Wall Street volatility

These tough economic times are no doubt driving many people to drink, but some bars and restaurants are making a game of it to drive sales and customer loyalty.

Bar Seven Five at the Andaz Wall Street hotel in New York City, is giving any guest who says the secret code “Double A” – in reference the Standard & Poor’s U.S. credit downgrade – a third drink for free. The offer stands through Oct. 1, and is valid from Monday through Friday, as soon as the stock market’s closing bell rings at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

At Searsucker in San Diego’s downtown Gaslamp District, guests can fill out a quick-betting form on weekdays, guessing how many points the Dow Jones Industrial Average will rise or fall. The guest with the closest guess wins a round of drinks at the restaurant’s Sunday brunch service.

Searsucker’s publicist said the game is a fun way to engage the many business executives who have lunch and dinner meetings there. It also requires an extra visit to the restaurant to redeem the reward.

Also in San Diego, The Grant Grill is running an optimistic Friday code word drink special. If a guest says “rally,” then all signature cocktails are $6 instead of the usual $12.

“On Tax Day we did drinks for $4.15,” to acknowledge, if not necessarily honor, April 15, said Jeff Josenhans, mixologist and sommelier for The US Grant Hotel, where the restaurant is located.

He said the restaurant offers many code word specials that discount drinks and food. The hotel’s publicity team puts the code word in its newsletter and social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, and alerts local media.

“The tax day thing was crazy; we sold tons,” Josenhans said, adding that the “rally” promotion, which started this summer and will likely last through the end of the year, is building up steam.

Le Paradou, a restaurant in New York City, offers a free bottle of wine to guests who order an entrée on any Monday or Tuesday night when the Dow is below a closing level of 12,000, the Wall Street Journal reported.

All guests have to do is say the code words “Wall Street.”

Contact Bret Thorn at [email protected].
Follow him on Twitter: @foodwriterdiary

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