Embracing the weirdness


Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to try out a nifty new diner that’s located about a block from my apartment. The reviews of the company’s other locations were really good, so I expected a pretty solid dining experience. Sure enough, the food, decor and service were all superb.

There was one really weird thing, though. The restaurant had a very strange set of ambient music playing, which seemingly combined elevator music with easy listening with instrumental covers of songs from decades ago. And the volume was quite loud. No matter how you slice it, the music made no sense for this type of venue.

I have a guess about what’s going on there. The diner is located in the lobby of a large corporate office building, and I’ve heard very similar music while walking through the other parts of that lobby. I bet that the ambient music — including the track selections and volume level — are controlled by the building itself. In other words, the restaurant’s landlord controls the tunes.

How accurate is my theory? I have no idea. But the takeaway is the same either way. If there’s something weird or unusual about your business, and you have no way to control that variable, then it’s best to just embrace it. Make the strange attribute a part of your overall brand message or at least acknowledge it in a light-hearted way. By doing so, you’ll let customers know that you’re making the best of an awkward situation, while reminding them that a little bit of bad luck — rather than your own bad taste — is what made things that way.