Eric Karjaluoto

Bigger Crowds Through Noodles

If you live in Vancouver, or Burnaby, you probably know of Anton’s. It’s an Italian restaurant with out-of-date decor and entirely mediocre food. However, they offer enormous portions. A typical meal there will set you up with leftovers for two or three subsequent meals.

As a result of their portion sizes (few seem to realize how inexpensive noodles are), many talk about Anton’s. This results in a lot of people making the trek to this restaurant. There’s almost always a crowd of eager patrons waiting to get in. In my many years living in this neighborhood, I’ve only once seen the restaurant without a line, out front.

Anton’s got people talking by offering gigantic meals. After that, the line did most of the work for them. Anyone walking by sees that line and assumes that all those waiting can’t be wrong.

I figure this all relates to some sort of instinctive mechanism that helped us evolve. At some point, we learned to trust in numbers. Specifically: if no one is at the watering hole, the water must be contaminated. However, if there’s a crowd, one can reasonably assume the source is safe.

So, let’s get back to you and what you made. What’s the one crazy thing (like making your portions 3 times larger than everyone else’s) you can do to grow a crowd? Because once you have, the crowd will attract others without you needing to say a word.

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