How does a free limo to and from a luxe eatery sound?
George Hauer is offering to pick up restaurant-goers in a limousine and bring them to his La Jolla restaurant. He said times are tough, "so you just try and be as nimble as you can and do as many things as you can to keep people coming in the door."
Evidently that includes picking them up at the door.
For three months now, George's at the Cove has been offering limo service to customers headed to the high-end California modern dining room. A Mercedes van will stop and pick up as many as six people for dinner with no charge.
"Night before last, we had 13 guests that came as a result of that," Hauer said.
High-end restaurants across the country are looking for ways to attract customers. Some are offering set-price menus, while others are making deep discounts. In other efforts to shore up the bottom line, the restaurant started a happy hour for the first time in its 25-year history.
"You know, these days everybody has to be flexible," Hauer said.
To get the free limo ride, customers have to be within 8 miles of the restaurant -- a radius that includes downtown San Diego. While there is no charge for the ride, Hauer is urging customers to tip the driver.