Cheers to the Positive

Back in April, Tom Verhey, owner of Chicago’s Pops for Champagne, came up with an idea to help those less fortunate find work, while simultaneously encouraging his patrons to celebrate something every single week.

The Toast on Tuesday promotion invites guests to come in each week and raise a glass to anything in their lives that is going well.

“With all the doom and gloom going on in the news,” explains Verhey, “I thought it would be nice to spend a day celebrating each week. It could be anything people want to toast — an upcoming trip, a new friend — anything. We normally offer two pours for our Champagnes, a 3-ounce and a 5-ounce, and on Tuesdays, guests can choose any of the 12 Champagnes by the glass on our menu and pay the 3-ounce price for 5 ounces.”

For every glass ordered, Pops for Champagne donates $1 to the Chicago Jobs Council organization, which is dedicated to helping those less fortunate find employment and career advancement opportunities.

“So far, we have done this for three weeks, and we have raised over $500. We are averaging between 60 and 100 glasses sold per event.”

The promotion has been such a success that Verhey plans to continue it for at least three months.

“We estimate that 25 percent of the people coming in on Tuesdays now are here specifically for the promotion. The type of crowd we get in here is extremely varied,” he says. “It’s everyone from visitors — since we are located downtown — to the after-work local crowd. We have done some advertising on table tents and through our PR firm, but mainly it’s word of mouth. We explain the promotion to every person that comes in, and once people come by on a Tuesday and enjoy the discount and the great atmosphere, they tend to return. The saying is true: ‘The more you celebrate life, the more there is in life to celebrate.’”