Friday, December 16, 2011

Free, with Terms & Conditions

Blogger SK wrote about a promotion campaign of KFC in Malaysia. The fast food giant offered free Zinger burgers for a month. Within a few hours after the promotion started, however, KFC had to discontinue the offer ‘due to overwhelming response’.

Is it possible for a business to offer some free goods or service, and still make money?

Well, AirAsia, the budget airline, has been giving away ‘free seats’ from time to time. But the passengers have to pay for everything else, from ‘convenience fee’ to baggage free to check-in fee.

In Japan, there is this kind of eateries called tachi-soba, literally ‘standing soba’. Patrons of these eateries are required to stand while having their meal. No seats are provided. See pictures below…


Now, combining the concepts of AirAsia and tachi-soba, I am thinking of starting a restaurant which serves free noodles, but with terms and conditions…

  • Noodle – free
  • Service charge – RM5
  • Bowl – RM1 (you can bring your own bowl)
  • Chopsticks + spoon – RM1 (you can bring your own chopsticks)
  • Drinks – various prices
  • Chair – RM1 (you may stand)
  • Use of restroom – RM1

On the other hand, I would increase my revenue by selling ads space in the shop…

So, anybody want to join my new venture?


  1. first, i think offering freebies can make you earn a fortune, provided that you plan your campaign well and not like KFC..

  2. in the KFC case, it's a free double zinger burger combo with any purchase lasting for one month!! you see where the problem is??

  3. 1. with any purchase, meaning they do not guarantee an nett earning because customers will sure get something cheapest to get that freebie..

    2. freebies promotion for one whole month long, and this is something just so not feasible!! one day would already be sufficient..

  4. so back to your business idea.. nope, i do not think it will work for you are charging RM5 service fees!! it's different from airticket dude.. people will perceive that RM5 (plus all the other surcharge) can get nicer noodles elsewhere they can eat comfortably..

  5. I think AirAsia is getting quite ridiculous for charging almost everything! What's next? Charging us for using toilet in the plane?

  6. Hahaha!! Your business venture looks interesting but I rather pay and eat in a comfortable restaurant sitting down! : D

  7. haha..I don't mind standing n eating..

  8. malaysians are generally sloppy eaters and you'll have to clean the table and floor mess after each diner eats if he/she were to stand like that!

    and... rm 5 is expensive... if it's rm 1 then it's another story. :p

  9. The idea is radical but could successfully happen with certain tweaks. For one thing, it's difficult for customers to get past the RM5 for service charge. The bare essentials would cost the customer RM7 (service, bowl, chopsticks and spoon) assuming the toilet is not needed and even that is costly at RM1 per visit. I don't know, I can't see myself carrying eating implements in my bag for a standing meal of noodles! hmmm..

    At some places (in KL) where there is a big student population, noodles cost only RM4 with comfortable seating, football tv, fan, free use of toilet.

    You might as well just charge a flat rate of RM5 - covering everything if you are thinking about offering low-cost meal. Have not heard of restaurants charging for toilet use yet. Yours could be a first.

    My two cents - actually pretty good market survey feedback from a potential customer. No?

    Like I said, radical but could work.

  10. free noodles? i think malaysians would love it!


  11. The idea is there. Nice!

    However I believe not many people may want to bring along their own bowl & chopstick. To encourage and help out more needy people, suggest you pay RM1 to those who brings their own bowl and chopstick.

    With this, you help to redistribute/channel wealth from people who wants convenience to people who want to save more on the livig cost.

    However, how tasty the noddle is still the most important factor...:-)

  12. eating while standing. nah *shakes head*

    and your business =.=||| after adding the whatnot, it's like a price of a bowl of mee lo