June 29, 2008
How to surprise a distant friend for their birthday
My brother moved to Chur, Switzerland about a year ago. He’s at school in Switzerland and moved there to live with his girlfriend, who coincidentally is Swiss.
Mike and I usually send each other silly t-shirts for our birthdays. I was actually in the process of doing this last week, but I ran into a snag at the end of the ordering process. I was alerted that I must ship within the same country as my credit card billing address. Couldn’t they have told me this before I wasted my time?
I was stuck scratching my head when an idea dawned on me, my brother loves beer (we’re obviously related). So I did what any cool older brother would do, I got him a bar tab and here’s how.
- I entered his apartment address in Google Maps.
- I searched for “bar” in his neighborhood.
- I scrolled through the results and checked the ones with reviews. I also visited the coinciding websites and photos of the bars. *Marketing note: You really need to have your business registered in Google Maps (with a decent website and good reviews helps).
- I emailed the bar with the following message:
My brother recently moved right around the corner from your bar. I actually live in Nashville, Tennessee in the US. His birthday is in 2 weeks and I would like to pre-pay $30 Swiss Francs to buy him a tab at your bar. Is this possible?
I’ve done this for a friend in Ireland before, so I thought I would check with you. I think it will be a great birthday surprise, not to mention a new customer for your bar. He’s from Canada and a lovely guy.
I heard back from the owner of the bar promptly. He even offered to mail a voucher to Mike’s apartment with a personal note from me which read:
Booze beats t-shirts. Happy Birthday Mike. Love, Dave.
He was so surprised when he received it. Now he just needs to get through his exams before he can actually cash that in and relax with a cold one(s). Good luck Mike.