Word of Mouth Sans Technology: Village Virgins

Also crossposted at Misohungrynow.com

If the brunch spots @HopSafari (also @windaddict) and I visited are any indication of the food community in Boulder, this place is hopping.  Village Coffee was an awesome experience for us, but more than that, the word of mouth strategy was new, fun, and refreshing.  I checked into Village Coffee on Gowalla, and I saw a little tag that said to make sure to tell the staff that it is our first visit.  So I did.  First time Village Coffee visitors are called Village Virgins.  The restaurant calls out the Virgins, literally.  The staff yells “EXCUSE ME, EVERYONE! WE HAVE A VILLAGE VIRGIN!”  Everyone in the restaurant cheers, and then resumes their meal.  The virgins aren’t scoffed at or picked on.  They are applauded with a warm welcome.  What a better way to welcome newbies?

Whoever brought the Village Virgins gets a stamp on their Village V-card.  Bring in three virgins and you get a free half order of French toast.  After six virgins, you get a free pancake.  After eight virgins, you get any free breakfast.  After ten virgins, you get a free shirt.  This is a genius plan.  This isn’t just rewarding customers who visit frequently, but it rewards customers who bring in new customers.  This is word of mouth, offline, and I absolutely love it.  I’ll also note that there is a sign up at Village Coffee with a sign saying that they had a Facebook.  The sign also says that they are crawling into the 21st century.  That just goes to show that you don’t need a fancy social media strategy to use word of mouth.

I love the unpretentiousness and simple, down to Earth atmosphere.

One of the staff at Village Coffee snaps a photo for us.

The chicken fried steak, eggs, and hash browns.

The egg burrito with green chile pork stew.  Delicious!


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