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Loss Leader

Schu’s, a longtime St. Joe eatery, is re-introducing its $5 Chicken Dinner on Thursday nights to entice locals to dine there during the lean months. For those who don’t live here, that is the time of year when summer activities are shelved, when tourists don’t flock to the area, when the weather is sub-par. We’ve just entered that triple storm.

Earl and I are not particularly keen on going downtown in the summer when most of the license plates hail from Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. But once those drivers retreat, we look for all the bargains the restaurants have to offer. Which is why we ate at Schu’s last night and enjoyed fried chicken (two pieces, your choice of white or dark meat), mashed potatoes with gravy, and coleslaw for just $5. Truly, it’s an adequate meal. And there’s always dessert if one is still hungry.

In the supermarket world, the chicken is known as a “loss leader” because the merchant is relying on the customer to spend money on add-ons. Which we did. Even though our dinner cost a nominal amount, we each had two drinks. So our bar bill was substantially more that $5 per person. Which means you can give away chicken and still make a profit if the customers like cocktails.

Since we do, this is a win/win for everyone.

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