Promotional Pen Inspires Diner To Want More

When GQ.com’s news and culture editor Chris Gayomali recently dined at a Brooklyn, New York, restaurant, it wasn’t the meal that was memorable. It was the pen he was given to sign the credit card slip. In fact, he liked the feel and smoothness of the writing instrument so much, he pocketed it and later called the restaurant to find out where to get more.

As it turns out, the pen was sold to the restaurant by Peggy Hess, president of Greenwich, Connecticut distributor Blue Ribbon Premiums (UPIC: BRPREM). On Monday she received two inquiries about it, one from a Mississippi lawyer and one from the University of Texas-Austin—both were directed to Hess from an online article Gayomali wrote about the impressive pen.

Hess has been selling the HPC Global #310 chrome trim pen to a number of tri-state area restaurants for the past 10 years, and she doesn’t know what about it caught the end user’s attention, but she’s glad it did. “I know it’s a retro design and I like that it’s made in the USA—that’s a great selling point,” she says. HPC Global (UPIC: HPCG) has been selling the pen since 1966, says Michael Kogutt, MAS, vice president of sales.

Pens are a popular promotion for restaurants wanting diners to take more away than a full stomach. Hess says she has two New York-area restaurants that buy 10,000 of the logoed pens at a time, and others that buy 2,500 to 5,000 pens at a time and reorder as needed; or, in other words, as stock is depleted by customers who want one for themselves.

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