Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Soup Man draws a crowd

July 20

Whenever you see a big mob of professional camera-wielders, you can bet that that’s not where the news is. What you have here is not news, it’s a media event — scripted, predictable, usually boring, but in this case irritating because it was about 88 degrees out and muggy and I didn’t want to be there.

This particular media event was the re-opening of the soup shop that became famous in the Seinfeld “Soup Nazi” episode. Al "The Soup Nazi" Yeganeh capitalized on that episode and now there are 21 "Soup Man" restaurants, because you can’t call yourself a Nazi, across the country. Well, now 22 with the reopening of the original shack.

Why should you care? I don’t really know. I took my pictures and left. I'm not standing in line for soup.

But a lot of people apparently do care and will stand in line for soup. Because below, on the left there is a picture of the end of the line of people waiting to get their soup, and next to it is a picture of the line as it continued around the corner to the actual entrance of the restaurant, where they could buy the soup.

Now, although as a customer I’m not going to stand in that line, as a restaurant owner I’d sure like to have people doing that outside my restaurant. At least I’d like it to be an option.

The key to making that happen, it seems, is to be featured on a massively successful situation comedy, spend a decade or more milking that and hiring a good PR firm to promote the reopening of your spot.

Oh, it also helps if you get Reggie Jackson to show up to promote the event.

Did the people in line think it was worth it? Feast New York asked some of them. They seemed fine with it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Al is not involved with the business in any way, shape or form.

He sold the building to the current owner in April, and has been out of the country, except when he signed the contract, for 6 years.