It increased business because people came for the low price, but only a handful of people actually decided to try to redeem the rebate. Those that did try to redeem it had to camp out overnight and solve riddles:
I don't think so, it would take a TON of capital to pull off something like this and after watching a few episodes I don't think it's feasible for the shows budget. All their stunts seem to be somewhat inexpensive in comparison to opening a store.
I dunno, presumably all of the equipment is leased, they probably aren't paying the employees much more than minimum wage, I bet it's within the show's budget. (Especially if it ends up only being open for a day or two.) If the experiment is successful they should end up making money.
Really, if you think about it, if you only plan on having it open short-term, and you have the money of Viacom (parent co. of Comedy Central) behind you, then capital is not an issue.
You're not going to buy the equipment, you're going to lease it. Paper cups are pretty cheap, and you're hiring people off Craigslist. Coffee's cheap too. And it looks like they're in an area that would be pretty cheap.
Cable shows like this are incredibly cheap, and that's why networks love them. A few hundred grand isn't chump change, but if they get a whole episode out of it, they're still making money.
I think the most expensive thing there is the sign. That's probably over $5k. Month's rent, depending on how bit the place is, maybe $2-4k. Couple days payroll, maybe $1k. Equipment lease I don't know, but maybe a few grand. More if they bought stuff, less if they found a closing Starbucks. Everything else (custom printed cups) maybe another $2k.
Total in my dumb estimate around $15k; maybe more depending on how elaborate the mockery is, or less if they tried to keep costs down. Anyway, in TV production terms, not much.
Honest question - how does that man keep getting work?
Even when you approach from a meta-comedy standpoint - something that his supporters claim is his main focus, he is just juvenile and idiotic. I think he's honestly just an idiot who has gotten lucky enough to be in comedy during the time in history that marijuana is very, very mainstream.