Blog Header
The Insights Blog

Dedicated To Helping Readers
Be More Interesting
Since 2004.

As Featured In:

IdeaBar: The Secret Menu Item

I2m_hardrockcafe_mrluckys There is a restaurant at the Hard Rock Cafe in Las Vegas called Mr. Lucky’s 24/7.  As the name suggests, it’s open all the time every day – but that’s hardly unique in Las Vegas.  Their menu is like most other menus at cafe restaurants in hotels … serving the usual entrees coupled with the typical Las Vegas style buffets with every kind of food you can imagine.  In a town like Vegas, it’s tough to stand out for food.  But what everyone who has been to Vegas knows about Mr. Lucky’s is that there is a special item not on the menu.  The "Gambler’s Special" is a plate that includes a steak, three grilled shrimp, a choice of potato or broccoli, and a salad for $7.77 … and only available for those that know to ask for it.  So here’s the question: how many people do you think will go out of their way to get to Las Vegas, go to the Hard Rock Cafe, and make their way to Mr. Lucky’s just to order that hidden menu item that is only available to those who know to ask for it?  Based on the reviews, I’m guessing more than a few.  This is the kind of buzz marketing that helps restaurants stand out.  It’s the kind of thing people talk about.  It’s the kind of thing that makes me dedicate an entire blog post to a restaurant that probably would otherwise be indistinguishable from any other Las Vegas cafe on or off the strip.  Now think outside of the restaurant business.  How much buzz could you drive by offering something outside of your usual "menu" that only the initiated customers knew to ask for?  What could you do with a secret menu item?

About the Idea Bar:

Working in a creative team, the life of our business is new ideas.  We come up with them every day for clients, but sometimes there are ideas that just don’t fit a client.  They are too big, too different, or just not quite right.  Inspired by my colleague John Bell, the IdeaBar is a category of posts that are meant to be "open source" and offer new ideas for marketing.  Read more IdeaBar posts on this blog.

1 thought on “IdeaBar: The Secret Menu Item”

  1. Interestingly a few restaurants in London have started this practice – apart from anything else it seems to generate PR – as the journalist is made to look a little more informed and influential if they can mention an off-menu item or two. In the same way it obviously generates word of mouth comment as sharing the information rewards the teller as well as the hearer (in the way that sharing a good joke is rewarding to both parties).

    The restaurant chain Wagamama in the UK has an interesting variant: green tea is not on the menu but if you ask for it they bring it to you free.


Leave a Comment

Vector Smart Object

About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

He loves the Olympics, actively hates cauliflower and is a proud dad of boys.

Rohit Bhargava About (1)


Do you need a speaker that can help your audience be more innovative and anticipate the future?

For more than a decade, Rohit Bhargava has been inspiring audiences at NASA, Disney, Schwab, Microsoft, SXSW, Coca-Cola and hundreds of other clients with his signature non-obvious keynote presentations. He is a master at weaving recent stories into his talks in a way that helps audiences better understand the world today, while also preparing to lead the future.

Non Obvious Insights
Layer 97
Non Obvious Insights Newsletter
Layer 118

Skip the obvious and anticipate the future with our weekly newsletter. Join over 25,000 subscribers and start receiving the stories (and insights) you’ve been missing.


#1 WSJ & USAToday Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 8 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.

Vector Smart Object


Have a Question or Inquiry?

Just fill out this form, and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours!

About You

What Are You Contacting Us About*:

Your Message