The restaurant “Tum Luang Prabang” in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand has gained widespread attention by charging customers in Lao kip currency, sparking viral interest and drawing customers through its creative marketing tactic.
In a bid to attract attention and combat a slump in customer numbers, Tum Luang Prabang, a Lao-themed restaurant, has been charging its patrons in Lao kip, a move that has captivated social media users in both countries.
The restaurant started gaining popularity after a video was circulated online, capturing a customer’s initial shock when he got a bill of 447,500 with no currency specified. Soon after, a waiter revealed that the calculation was made in Lao kip currency, which would amount to around THB 895.
Itthiphon Saengcharattphong, the restaurant’s owner, says that this innovative pricing strategy was devised to counteract a drop in footfall.
The intention behind it was to encourage customers to share their receipts online, inadvertently promoting the restaurant. By eliciting a range of reactions, from surprise to amusement, the restaurant aimed to tap into the power of social media.
“People are usually on social media these days, hence I came up with the idea of using such a platform to draw people to our restaurant,” says Itthiphon.
The restaurant’s association with Lao culture and cuisine played a pivotal role in shaping this marketing approach. As the owner points out, “Our restaurant already has a Lao name, so why not go all out and charge the meal in Lao currency, too,” he adds in a lighthearted manner.
Tum Luang Prabang is renowned for its Lao-themed offerings, serving a variety of traditional Luang Prabang dishes, including Lao Papaya salad, Pho noodles, and Laab. Operating daily from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., the restaurant’s unique marketing ploy has not only drawn attention but also underscored its commitment to celebrating and promoting Lao culinary heritage.
This marketing tactic has also brought back attention to the continued depreciation of the Lao Kip. As per today’s market rate, just 1 THB will fetch around LAK 579, making the importation of consumer and other goods from Thailand more expensive.