Well, someone at Morton's was listening. They had a tuxedo-clad server and a porterhouse waiting for a Shankman at the baggage claim less than three hours later. He was understandably thrilled, and shocked.
Morton's differentiates itself through quality and customer service -- that's how it can get people into the restaurant to order $40 entrees. This gesture focuses directly on the strengths of the Morton's brand, and was sure to be a hit if it got exposure.
Shankman doesn't think it was about any of that though. Here's what he had to say on his blog:
"Of course, there immediately came a few tweets from the other side of the camp, specifically calling out that I have over 100k Twitter followers, and if I didn’t, this never would have happened. But you know what? I don’t think that’s the case. I don’t think it’s about my follower numbers. I think it’s about Morton’s knowing I’m a good customer, who frequents their establishments regularly."
Either way, it makes more sense for Morton's to do this for a frequent customer that has significant reach and industry cred than a regular Morton's eater. Well played, Morton's.