business news in context, analysis with attitude

A lot of press releases show up an MNB World Headquarters each day - they used to say that "they come in over the transom," a turn of phrase that will flummox anyone under 60 who has no idea what a "transom" is - but this one seemed particularly noteworthy:

"There are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, but few are as special and memorable as spending the holiday at White Castle. The fast-food pioneer will again be hosting its annual Valentine's Day Dinner — a beloved tradition that started in 1991 — on Feb. 14 from 4 to 9 p.m.

"Reservations will be accepted at more than 300 participating Castles beginning tomorrow at OpenTable.com."

The press release goes on:

"On this day, participating White Castle restaurants become 'Love Castles,' transforming their dining rooms into fine dining establishments. Guests are treated to hostess seating, tableside services and festive décor befitting the holiday of love. Couples, friends and families are all welcome. Each year, tens of thousands of people celebrate Valentine's Day at White Castle."

KC's View:

For the record, putting tablecloths on the tables and staffing up with hostesses (which seems like a sexist and obsolete construct), does not equal "fine dining."  The last time I pulled off the highway to grab a quick takeout lunch from a White Castle, I had to stop a few miles down the road to throw out much of what I'd bought, and then again a few more miles down the road to get rid of what I'd eaten.

Just curious - anyone in the MNB community making reservations at the Love Castle?  Because I know this - if I'd taken Mrs. Content Guy to the Love Castle for Valentine's Day in 1991, the marriage would not have survived until 1992.

But let's put aside my skepticism for a moment.  I actually kind of admire the hubris of this promotion, and wonder if there are ways that food retailers can mimic this to some degree - go beyond just selling flowers and candy and creating experiences, especially for best customers.