July 2023 Ruminations & Ronnifications

Do any of our patrons remember S & H green stamps? I still remember my mom’s infatuation with these little stamps (emulating the U.S. postage stamp); she couldn’t wait until she got home from the grocery store to put the stamps in her S & H book so she could redeem them for what she thought were wonderful gifts.

I guess that’s why many years ago, before loyalty programs were even popular, I opted to start my very own loyalty program. Instead of stamps I opted for loyalty  cards, and instead of gifts we give money. I love listening to the excitement of our customers when they learn at the register they they have a $3.00 coupon, earned $7.50 … or hit the jackpot with a buy one get one free coupon. And we make sure to always see our customers on their birthday month because of the monetary birthday gift we bestow.

It incentivizes the customers to buy, spend and save more. And they come back … luckily the program works.

I still remember E.J. Korvettes and Robert Hall and more recently, the venerable supermarket Waldbaum’s. I hope – after almost 51 years in business – Ben’s continues well after I am gone. I know that every generation removed from the immigrant experience, loyalty wanes and thus it is incumbent on Ben’s to change with the times. Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant is past the glory days where there were two and three kosher delis in the neighborhood so I am trying my very best to keep this tradition alive. Whoever thought that Ben’s would have wraps on the menu, paninis, or our latest addition – new  fresh salads with new and exciting ingredients that our customers are raving about.

I know that I have tried my very best to change with the times, and pass on my knowledge and passion to those who are younger, and will continue the Ben’s tradition and that of the kosher delicatessen restaurant genre. It is so rewarding when I hear from a 45 year old that we catered their bris, or their bar or bat mitzvah, their holiday gatherings, or their engagement parties and the many stories how Ben’s participated in their family’s rites of passage. As I approach my 75th birthday, I want all of my patrons, friends, vendors and employees to know how appreciative I am for their support through the years; may we continue for another 50 years rewarding each other!

With best regards,
Ronnie Dragoon

Leave a Reply

Skip to content