Here’s a neat little marketing idea…

Most restaurants, with your bill, give you a couple of mints and, if they’ve got any idea about trying to drum up repeat business, a business card.

The business card gets points for effort, but certainly for me they don’t work that well. I’ll take them home and then forget about them, and the restaurant with them.

So if you really want to make an impact, you need to make a bit more effort.

Take Wahaca.

Wahaca are a small chain of Mexican restaurants in London, and with their bill you don’t get a business card.

Instead, you get a small matchbook with 5 chilli seeds inside. On the outside face are contact details for both their restaurants, on the inside are instructions for growing the chillis and a recipe for guacamole.

Grow the chillis, and every time you look at them you’re going to be remembering Wahaca. Even if you don’t, it’s different enough that there’s more chance of you remembering the one restaurant that gave you chilli seeds than the hundred that gave you a business card.

Yes, it costs more, but I’m willing to bet it’s worth it. Space in your customers’ memory is a commodity that’s very hard to buy.

It should be noted that they don’t get everything right… their website is a hideous flash confection that some web developer somewhere probably thought was a good idea.

They should probably get whoever came up with the matchbook idea to take a look.