It's a Yes or Yes Question

by Brandon Steiner September 16, 2013 0 Comments

When you can't quit, you gotta find another way out.

Here's my story.

When I was in my twenties, I spent some time as the assistant manager of the coffee shop in the Hyatt Regency in Baltimore.

The place was called Cascades, and it was my daily responsibility to open the shop . I had to wake up at 5 AM to get there in time every morning. It was a crazy intense job; sometimes there would already be 300 guests lined up waiting to eat by the time I got to work.

While the work at Cascades was invigorating, it was torture to wake up so early every morning. I could never get used to that. But I couldn’t quit. That was not part of my DNA.

So I had to find another way out.

“How can I get promoted?” I asked myself. “How can I get to a higher position?”

"What Else can I do for Hyatt?"

Then it hit me—increase the average check price.

Restaurants are always looking to grow the average amount of money their diners spend. Usually, they do this by pushing wine and other alcoholic beverages, and dessert. But those weren’t options for a place that served so much breakfast; I was going to have to be more creative.

The impressive fresh-squeezed orange juice maker we had at Cascades gave me an idea.

See, I had just learned about the “Yes or Yes” theory at a sales seminar.

I put a big display of oranges outside the entrance to the restaurant, and while guests were lined up to get in, I had a waitress ask each customer if they would like coffee or juice. Little room for a "no" in that question.

As it happened, most people said “Both.” Who doesn’t want coffee and juice in the morning?

Pretty soon, the coffee or juice proposition became standard operating practice at all Hyatt coffee shops—along with the welcoming display of fresh oranges.

Never ask a person a Yes or No question when it could be Yes or Yes instead.

(And don't quit if you can find a better way "out"!)

Brandon Steiner
Brandon Steiner


Brandon Steiner is the founder and chairman of Steiner Sports Marketing and Memorabilia, the largest company of its kind in America. Considered a sports marketing guru, Brandon is a permanent fixture in the media as a regular on ESPN NY Radio 98.7 FM and as host of "The Hook-Up with Brandon Steiner" on YES Network. He has appeared frequently on CNBC, CNN, MSNBC, ESPN, and in newspapers including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. The author of The Business Playbook: Leadership Lessons from the World of Sports and You Gotta Have Balls: How a Kid from Brooklyn Started From Scratch, Bought Yankee Stadium, and Created a Sports Empire, Brandon lives in Scarsdale, New York, with his wife, Mara and children Crosby and Nicole.

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