Think Tank Public Relations & Marketing Blog

Where Ninjas Shout Their Messages From Rooftops

I’ll Give Ya A “Two Finger” Rule! March 3, 2009

Okay, so the strangest thing happened to me tonight.  After a long day at the office (which consisted of a couple very fun logo designs and networking with other awesome local creatives at the coffee shop), I decided to rest my weary bones at the neighborhood Applebee’s.  (No, this isn’t the strange part….I can hear your snide comments!  Control yourself!)  Anyway back to my story…

I come to the conclusion that after my clearly arduous day I needed to unwind with a draft beer.  (Purely for medicinal purposes…)  I order your average domestic 16 ounce, and when it comes to my table – travesty! – there is at least an inch of NO BEER in my glass.  Thinking that this must simply be the case of an unseasoned bartender, I begrudgingly start drinking my brew.  Cold, delicious, just what I was looking for after such a taxing day, I decide to order another one…and this is where the story starts to unfold.

The second beer, equally as frosty and satisfying, comes to my table with another large gap between the beer and the top of the glass.  Having lived in England for a year where this sort of behavior is (seriously) illegal, I decide to make a joke with my server about the ineptitude of the bartender’s pour.  I even offered to step back behind the bar and show ’em how it’s done!  (Hey, I was a waitress in college…not to mention all the college keg parties where I was a young “entrepreneur” selling red cups at a…cough…reasonable price.) Sorry, I digress…

The bartender then informs me of the most horrific, vile, obscene edict in corporate restaurant policy I’ve ever heard of…. The TWO FINGER RULE.  (What?  What?  Two finger rule?  What is this terrible sounding policy?)  Apparently, Applebee’s has just instituted a Two Finger Rule in which the beer must be “two fingers width” from the top of the glass.  Are you kidding me?  Not only have they instituted this ridiculous policy, but they have spent money on installing an apparatus which only ALLOWS the bartender to pour this much.  HUH?  SAY WHAT?

So, being the amazing (okay, I realize this is totally a matter of opinion) Marketing Ninja that I am, I decide to brainstorm – and quickly.  “So…” I say, “how about the bartender just fill my beer and then go back and top it off?”  Well, the server goes onto explain to me that they now WEIGH the kegs at the end of the night to make sure the bartender is not giving away free beer.  Okay, am I in the Twillight Zone?  An episode of Seinfeld?  Have I entered into Bizzaro World?  The server assures me this is not the case, that I am indeed firmly rooted in the Edwardsville, Illinois Applebee’s and that this is INDEED the case.  (The ridiculous case, I mumble under my breath.)

Now, I have to ask….it begs the question, after all….how much money is Applebee’s REALLY saving on shorting me two fingers width worth of beer?  (Say that three times fast!)  They have had to re-tool their taps, they have to waste man hours weighing the kegs, and they are annoying their customers who just want a full beer.  It is reminiscent of all the automated drink machines recently installed at fast food restaurants now, where upon reaching for your medium coke, you realize IT is not full either.  Sigh.

America, I ask you, are there really THAT many dollars saved by shorting me the least expensive thing that a restaurant provides – fountain soda and draft beer?  Wouldn’t you be better served, you penny pinching restaurants you, by making the PORTION SIZES smaller on my plate?  After all, I don’t need 3 cups of fries with my low-cal chicken sandwich.  One cup (or, hell, even 2!) would suffice.  Just give me my beer.  Full.  Please.

Otherwise, I have a “two finger” rule of my own I’d like to show ya – and it consists of one, key, prominent finger on each hand, thank you very much!  And let’s face it, what does IHOP (owner of Applebee’s) know about beer anyway?  Maybe they need to take a trip to England.  They’ll tell ’em a thing or two about the Two Finger Rule.  Blimey!