The Art Inventory

A Win-Win At Quiz Night & Pecado Bueno

by Kirby Lindsay, posted 29 October 2014


The 3rd Quiz Night for B.F. Day takes place November 4th at Pecado Bueno.

The 3rd Quiz Night for B.F. Day takes place November 4th at Pecado Bueno.

On Tuesday, November 4th, at 7:30p, at Pecado Bueno, the Quiz Night for Day 3 will raise money for the B.F. Day P.T.S.A.  For $25 per person, attendees get to participate in a pub-style trivia contest (with three teammates,) enjoy an order of tasty tacos, and an appetizer plate to share, plus know they’ve given (100% of their entry fee,) to enriching our public school.

Organized once again by Fremonster, and B.F. Day parent, Carol Magallenas, Quiz Night For Day once again gathers local folk together for a great cause – and delicious tacos!

Donors & Dinner

If it seems like a lot of local fundraisers take place at Pecado Bueno, it is only because a few non-profit organizations have learned that this is exactly what James Schmidt wants to have happen.

As owner of Pecado Bueno, Schmidt recently estimated that he’s had 10 fundraisers at his restaurant this year.  “It’s driving me crazy that I don’t have a list of people wanting to do this,” he said.  He wants to see events, like the Taco Feed organized by the Rotary Club of Fremont in September to benefit B.F. Day, take place every week.

The Fremont Rotary invited their members, their families, school staff, school families and the general public to come in and feast at an all-you-can-eat taco bar for $15 a person.  The Rotary spent nothing, Pecado Bueno provided the place and the food, and the 100 or so people provided the money, and Schmidt saw this as a win-win for him and for B.F. Day.

In fact, Schmidt wants to give the same deal to any local non-profit, particularly those that benefit education causes or local food banks.  “I want to partner with people that drive people into my restaurant,” he explained.  He prefers local non-profits, but those who help the impoverished or marginalized of other parts of the world would be fine.  “Call me,” he said, “I can tell you no, I don’t want to do this’,” if that is the case, but right now, “I cannot get a charity night here once a week,” he reported, and it bothers him.

Schmidt does want to see groups at Pecado Bueno that bring in 75+ people to their fundraisers.  “I don’t want to get a charity here that gets less than 30 people,” he acknowledged.  Smaller groups require as much staff, and as much space, but don’t bring him enough customers to support his restaurant, and cover the money he spends.  So, he sets a charge for smaller groups:

  • 25 – 50 attendees – pay $10 per head from tickets collected at the door
  • 50 – 75 attendees – pay $5 per head
  • 75 or more attendees – pay $0

Schmidt does look at the event, and the planner, and if they’ve done the work, “I’ve never gone to anyone that spent the whole night here and only made $250 to demand my $250.”  Still, he’d like to see more non-profits that want to raise money, and have donors already inclined to eat dinner, organizing a taco feed.

Marketing & Benefits

“It’s a win-win marketing campaign,” Schmidt explained, “I can put my money into ads on the radio or TV or a newspaper, and hope people come in for a trial, or I can host a fundraiser where I get 80 people in.”

The entry wall at Pecado Bueno has framed Thank You’s from local groups that used the space, and made money, and Schmidt wants to see those covering the whole restaurant.  Most of the fundraisers are Taco Feeds, like the Fremont Rotary has done twice in 2014, “those things are not that expensive to me,” Schmidt acknowledged, “and to have happy customers here, and to raise money for charity, those things are not exclusive.”

The Taco Feed in September created a bit of chaos and noise, and I asked Schmidt if they displace other, paying customers, who wanted a quiet night.  “I don’t think it does,” he said.  He acknowledged that the fundraisers get scheduled, preferably, on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday, “they are my slowest nights.”  Still, “My customers are families in the neighborhood,” he said, “There is going to be room.”

“We are a true member of the society,” Schmidt explained, “I give back.”  Yet, “it’s my marketing budget,” he said, “and for that I need to get a return.  I want exposure.  I’m looking to be a responsible person, as a business owner, and I need something that helps my business.”

‘Doing It Right’

“Those families that come here,” for Quiz Night, or the Cascade Challenge ‘Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament,’ Schmidt explained, “they appreciate it.  If they are on the fence between tacos and burgers, I will get them back because of the event.  If 200 people come in here and have some food, and 100 have a drink, and those 200 come back in here once in the year, I will benefit.”

Pecado Bueno, in Fremont and in West Seattle, are the fifth restaurant chain Schmidt has helped get started.  With his brother, he started Taco Del Mar and the Neighborhood Grills (like Green Lake Bar & Grill,) and with others he began Paddy Coyne’s and the Slo Joe’s Backyard BBQ.

After many years of experience, Schmidt has learned about marketing, and getting his restaurant name out there, and getting his customer to come back.  Still, “this is about me, making more money but doing it right,” Schmidt said, “I would do anything that is going to do something positive.”

“You’ve got to remind your customers,” Schmidt observed, “and you’ve got to get new customers to replace the 20% that move out of the neighborhood.  I have to re-expose those people to my neighborhood because it’s changing so fast!”

On November 4th, at Pecado Bueno, continue the tradition of winning, with Quiz Night for Day 3.  Sign-up your team of four, through the Facebook Events page, or the WordPress page.  Enjoy an evening of fellowship, fun and free tacos – plus raise much needed funds for our kids!

After all, ‘Pecado Bueno’ means ‘sin well’.  If you are going to sin, what could be better than matching that with some brain games and a donation to B.F. Day P.T.S.A.



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©2014 Kirby Lindsay.  This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws.  Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.

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