Beny’s Delice is a French Bakery located in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn, NY that recently opened a second location in Midtown Manhattan.
The thing about their location in midtown is…well…their location.
Beny’s Delice is located inside a subway station one story below street level and two levels above the subway platform.
They have a wealth of commuter foot traffic, however, as they are located at a point of commuter transition- and not commuter rest – getting that foot traffic to consider their stomachs above their destinations, be it the train platform or any of the myriad destinations on street level in midtown, is a challenge.
What is a bakery to do to drive consideration?
Give out samples.
There is nothing new, innovative or special about a bakery giving out free samples, but there is something new, innovative and special about giving out free samples in the new york city subways in a place of commuter transition.
I love what Benny’s Delice is doing because they’re embarking on the difficult task of changing consumer behavior in a challenged location in a city that doesn’t slow down – and they’re having success. They’re also bringing delight to their prospective customers by inviting them to take a brief break from the hustle and bustle of city life to enjoy the buttery goodness that is their croissants and their mouth watering macaroons.
Their effort is not only driving consideration, but it is also changing destinations. Commuters will be inclined to stop in on their way to and from work – and they will also be inclined to drop in to Beny’s in the middle of the day when they want a coffee with something sweet on the side.
Another thing I love about Beny’s is how they deliver delight through their store design. Beny’s isn’t a “subway station” bakery – they’re a bakery that happens to be located in a subway station. Their store is absolutely beautiful – a delightful change from the concrete, dull yellow tiles and bland fluorescent lights of the train station’s stairwell. To enter this location is to be taken from one world to another – from bland to beautiful. The contrast and the sensory experience they provide is memorable and it is one that will certainly bring customers back.
Until next time.
ps – For the record – I’m aware that free samples are given out often in places like Penn Station and other cross-transit hubs around the city – however, I would contend that those samples are given out in places where the incidence of commuter rest is significantly higher than what we see on this mezzanine at the 47-50th st station on 6th avenue