The ‘Bill Clinton Ate Here’ Effect
Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 10.26.10 | 12:01 PM ET
Wherever former President Clinton eats, crowds follow. Writes David Segal: “[F]ew phrases are more bankable to restaurants around the world than this: ‘Bill Clinton ate here.’” Here’s why:
It’s widely (and correctly) assumed that he has good connections everywhere he visits, so he’s unlikely to wind up at a dud. More than most celebrities, he seems like a person who appreciates good food, and before he had heart surgery, he was known for his wide-ranging appetite.
And when Mr. Clinton visits a restaurant, everybody in the room knows it. Douglas Band, an aide who frequently travels with Mr. Clinton, says that his boss introduces himself to every diner, as well as every waiter and every kitchen staff member. He will always pose for photographs and sign guest books. Someone from his staff will send a thank-you note a few days later.
Anyone who trails in Mr. Clinton’s dining path will eat well, but should know that his taste in restaurants, when he actually selects them, runs to the bright, lively and unfussy. The white table cloth, 10-course prix fixe experience is not his style.