This is what you see on the outside.
But within, it all starts with the brand.
The message flashes across the cash register constantly - how do we do it?
- Build the brand
- Build relationships "one plate at a time."
- ...and so on.
I've seen similar messages at McDonald's and The Post Office.
The technique of training employees to depict the brand is also mocked in Office Space, when a coworker at a fictitious quick-service-restaurant tells Jennifer Aniston to smile and "show her flare," i.e. the miles of pins that run up and down one's suspenders.
At Lulu's it really works.
When you deal with the waitresses the experience is exact and consistent. I know this because we've been going there for years, and there clearly is a formula. Friendly, but not overly so; bustling and efficient; and like you're one of some kind of family that you're returning to every time you eat.
We will only go to Lulu's, if we have a choice. We must return there. And we've actually gotten food poisoning!
Maybe it's for the pretty girls, the music and the drinks that people go. The company that owns the place also owns Hooters. They serve alcohol in tanks as big as fish bowls. And there's lots of tunes advertised as going on.
But I'm a wife and a feminist and I throw up when I drink and we never go for the music.
Lulu's is still "our place."
There is some kind of mystical, emotional experience here that only this restaurant provides.
If I had to put it in words, it's something like "G-d bless America" and "we're tough girls" and "regular food" that's greasy and rough and good.
We just left Lulu's a little while ago.
Already, I want to go back.
Disclaimer: This blog is written by Dannielle Blumenthal in her personal capacity. The opinions expressed here are the author's own and do not reflect the view of the National Archives and Records Administration, or the United States government. Photos by me.