We know, we know: There’s nothing else going on besides a six-year-old tryst that happened in an Italian restaurant where food is apparently served to customers who may or may not have sex with one another in the restaurant. In order to suss out the economic effects of the Pitino-Sypher snafu, I dined there last Friday. Lo and behold, the place was packed.
Only a few days after Karen Sypher’s lurid deposition was picked apart by anyone with an internet connection and a sense of morbid curiosity, the Frankfort Avenue eatery appeared virtually unaffected by the negative press regarding its involvement in the city’s biggest sex scandal since the Pope Lick Goatman was born of “illicit means.” And it was crawling with clothed, non-fornicating patrons. Weird!
The C-J‘s ever-effervescent Tamara Ikenberg offers an analysis along these lines; specifically what this scandal could potentially do to Porcini’s business. In a nutshell there’s no such thing as bad press, but unfortunately the PR wizards whom Ikenberg consulted have unanimously agreed that the restaurant should, in fact, downplay the scandal, and in “a non-offensive way.”
“If anything, it’s going to take a well-known restaurant and give it an even bigger name,” said Jesse Derris, crisis counselor at Sunshine, Sachs and Associates in New York. “It’s going to make it a tourist destination now. They’ll probably do even more business than what they were doing before.” [The Courier-Journal]
“(Porcini) should tell their staff not to make light of it and not to discuss it that much amongst themselves or with customers,” said Derris. [C-J, again]
This is the wrong approach, people. Porcini should capitalize on the interest by creating a themed-dining experience for those willing to fork over a bit of extra cash. Imagine: Sitting in the booth, waiting for an appetizer that will never come and then making regretful decisions that will plague the customer for years to come. Think Medieval Times meets “Fatal Attraction.” It’s pure gold!