In this ancient era, not many people were literate, but all of the students in the academy were! With that in mind, Su Tang had decided to try drumming up popularity for her cafe with the most typical method that she knew from modern times: handing out flyers.
The flyers advertised the opening of the new store and mentioned some of the products being sold as well as their prices, while also inviting people to come and try some free samples.
Three lavishly dressed students came out of the academy and when they saw someone handing out flyers, they walked over out of curiosity and got one from Pengmo. After looking at it, one spoke: “‘Dessert’? What kind of thing is this?”
“Hm, this seems like something new and fresh. Zhu Ran, would you like to go have a try?” These three young men were all children from well-known wealthy families in town, so they usually played together. The one who spoke first was Zhu Ran, and the one who spoke second was Li Qiang.
“A toffee costs five copper coins, a cupcake costs fifteen copper coins, ginger milk costs ten copper coins a cup, milk tea costs twenty copper coins a cup, and this ‘cheesecake’ costs fifteen copper coins? What kind of store is this? They must be running some kind of shady business, right?” The last teenager, named Wang Hong, asked.
After reading off all the prices on this flyer, Wang Hong’s whole body radiated gloominess. After all, although these were some strange and never heard of things, the prices were just too scary.
For comparison, a bowl of plain noodles from one of the other stalls on East Street only cost one copper coin, and adding a fish ball would only cost another two copper coins, which was more than enough for a meal. But at this new shop, the cheapest thing on the menu cost five copper coins, so what was a person supposed to think except that the owner must be running some sort of shady business?
“It does seem a little expensive, but I’m also curious about why this ‘dessert’ thing has such a high price. Let’s go over and see what this store sells.”
Although Zhu Ran also felt that the things on this menu weren’t cheap, it wasn’t like he couldn’t afford them. Rather than the price, he was more curious about whether these things he had never heard of were just some strange gimmicks or if they were actually really delicious and worth the price. So with those sorts of thoughts, the three of them went to look for the Dessert Cafe according to the address on the flyer.
However, many other students directly gave up after seeing the prices and didn’t even want to go take a look. After all, no matter how good those things might be, it was no use if they couldn’t afford to buy them. Besides, they were all things that they had never heard of before, so who even knew if they would be any good?
Of course, when Pengmo had seen these flyers, he had urged Su Tang not to write down the prices like this because many people would be scared off by the prices and wouldn’t even come at all. However, Su Tang hadn’t agreed and had stuck with her plan to publicize the prices clearly.
In the first place, fine desserts had never been targeted at the poor, even in the modern era. A good cake wasn’t something cheap and could easily cost the kind of price that many people wouldn’t ever even think of paying. Thus, since these people weren’t the target customers, what was the point of attracting them?
Of course, in the modern era, the sales concept had shifted to letting those who couldn’t afford things consume them anyway using credit, but this kind of method would generate issues in the long term so Su Tang had no interest in introducing it. Instead, she would rather just target the wealthy families to be her customers, and the best way to do that was to state the price clearly and up front.
In fact, she was mainly just trying to avoid any unnecessary troubles. Whether Pengmo understood that or not was unclear, but in the end, he didn’t bother trying to persuade her any further. He had only spoken up in the first place because he was worried that Su Tang’s shop might not do well, but in this ancient era, it wasn’t too appropriate for a servant to say too much, so he quickly backed down.
Meanwhile, Zhu Ran had followed the flyer and eventually made his way to Su Tang’s shop and found that it was actually quite lively in front of the shop. After all, the students were mainly all young children so when they saw something new pop up like this they would all be curious and would want to come over and take a look at the hustle and bustle, even if they couldn’t afford to buy anything.
Su Tang saw these people and smiled, “Good afternoon everyone. The Dessert Cafe opens today and for our opening promotion if you buy one item you can get a second item at half price. Our take-out products include cheesecake, toffee and, if you have your own bowl, milk tea as well. Everyone is welcome to have a taste if you’re curious.”
“We’ve prepared some free samples of our products here that everyone can try.” Su Tang pointed to the small bowl of free samples she had prepared for the guests to try. Inside there was some toffee, some cheesecake that had been cut into small pieces, and also a few of the cupcakes, so that people could sample all of her products.
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