Human Misery, Fatty Foods Still Profitable

Entrepreneur.com has posted a pretty engaging account of how restaurant owner Jon Basso has catapulted his Heart Attack Grill toward success without spending a dollar on advertising.

The secret? Eight-thousand-calorie hamburgers and scantily clad waitresses dressed as sexy nurses. The latter element has been particularly controversial for the Tempe, Arizona-based eatery.

[Basso] recognizes there’s a very serious nursing shortage going on and believes his restaurant is helping publicize the problem. ‘The Heart Attack Grill is actually glorifying the job for a younger workforce,’ says Basso.

The article shines a light on Basso’s bold and in-your-face concept, and all the free media that’s resulted. It’s a straightforward account, but it only gives a surface skim to the macro question of whether restaurants have any responsibility to care about the health of their patrons. And it drops the following completely daft observation about halfway through the piece:

The grill instead embraces everything considered ‘bad,’ from male chauvinism to fatty foods to cigarettes. In today’s health-conscious society, it’s surprising that the grill has done so well.

Yes, imagine that—a trend that irritates a large part of the population becomes nationally dominant, and then someone makes money by giving that trend the middle finger … incidentally serving unhealthy comfort food in the process. Surprising indeed. Next thing you know, people will be tuning in to “shock jock”-style radio hosts who just say what we’re all thinking!

Which is, apparently, how stupid poor people are, and how important it is to celebrate the precious national resource that is America’s strippers and prostitutes.

Someone should test this format out and see if it can make money.