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Your thoughts? Did Blair River go too far?

Your thoughts? Did Blair River go too far?

March 10, 2011

At 575-pounds and growing Blair River loved posing with his greasiest burger and one of his nurse-style waitresses at his Heart Attack Grill restaurant. But did this Big Zig go too far?

I'd love to get your thoughts on this week's column. It's funny, shocking and also very sad and I don't think anyone would read it and not have a strong reaction one way or another'

Perhaps you even heard about it in the news.

In Phoenix, Arizona, there's actually a restaurant that sells ' proudly sells ' high calorie, high fat foods and the greasier and worse it is for you, the better!

Called the Heart Attack Grill, you can help yourself to all-you-can eat fries, which are fondly named 'flat liners' and you can choose from the double burger, triple burger or quadruple burger.

If you're over 350 pounds, you eat free. But everyone must wear a hospital gown when they belly up to the table.

Sadly, one of the co-owners, Blair River, who had topped 570 pounds at 6 feet 8 inches died last week ' at 29 years old. His family says he died of pneumonia.

But even his co-owner says he would be alive if he hadn't eaten such an unhealthy diet.
Now, you know me. I'm always recommending that businesses should create a Big Zig ' a big, bold message that's different from anything else in the market and makes you stand out and say, 'I'm not like the rest!'

And boy oh boy, did he create a Big Zig. In an era where the White House is taking deep fryers out of our public schools and even salads are criticized for not being healthy enough, Big Blair created something far different.

Did he go too far?

Did it work? Depends on how you measure success I suppose. The restaurant is a hit in Phoenix for some people ' especially the over 350-pound crowd! Everyone in town ' and even out of town ' knows about it. Even River's videos became a viral sensation as he poked fun at his indulgences for greasy food.

But this Big Zig went too far ' even for my tastes! Yes, his business benefitted from his Big (Fat) Zig, but he's dead ' at 29! There's no turnaround plan for death. And yet, even in his death he ' and his restaurant ' are getting more attention than ever before.

Whether that Big (Fat) Zig will last, who knows? Perhaps the biggest lesson learned is the one for customers.

What do you think? Did Blair River go too far? Or was he simply filling a niche with a fun business idea?

Tell me what you think below'

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President