Ever since it was featured in “Work,” the raunchy new music video from Rihanna and Drake, Toronto Caribbean restaurant The Real Jerk has enjoyed a healthy boost in sales, much like Beyoncé did for Red Lobster in “Formation.” [Note: “Work” contains explicit content and may not be suitable for young viewers.]
Lili Pottinger, who runs The Real Jerk with her husband Edward, told TMZ that business at the restaurant has been up 20 percent, partly because fans are hoping to run into Rihanna or Drake, a Toronto native.
However, despite being grateful for the sales boost, the Pottingers were initially reluctant to let Rihanna and Drake use the locale. Edward Pottinger told Canada’s CBC News that when Rihanna’s team called him on Monday to ask if they could film for a full 24 hours on Friday of that same week, he was hesitant to relinquish the business of a busy Friday.
“They had to convince me to do it, because I don’t really give up a regular restaurant night to shoot movies or video clips,” Pottinger said. “I value my customers, who come from all over. They come from far away, so when they come and see a closed restaurant, it’s not really nice for them.”
But then, Pottinger realized that he might stand to benefit from an endorsement from two of the world’s most famous hip hop artists. “I realized how powerful it would be to have the name associated with us,” said Pottinger. “It was like, OK, let’s do this thing.”
When he finally saw the video, Pottinger was more than happy with the results. “I was really blown away by it. Drake always builds up Toronto and supports Toronto, and this is a fine example.”