JONESBORO — A group of dinosaurs has been wreaking havoc at Houlihan’s on Red Wolf Boulevard in Jonesboro for nearly two weeks as employees search for their owner.
The five toys first made their appearance on Tuesday evening, July 20.
Kaitlyn Skaggs-Bond, dining room supervisor at Houlihan’s, said she noticed them because the owner of the dinosaurs was a little blond-haired boy, who she estimated to be about 2 years old.
“I thought the little boy was so cute,” she said. “He made sure the dinosaurs were eating and drinking, too.”
Bond said it was a family of four, sitting at table 33 who forgot the toys.
Their server, Mikayla Taylor, said she realized immediately after they left the dinosaurs had been forgotten.
“I ran outside to try and catch them, but they had already gone,” Taylor said.
In an attempt to find the owners, Bond said she launched a marketing campaign featuring the dinosaurs in various escapades not only at Houlihan’s but also at the adjoining hotel, Embassy Suites.
Henry Burrell, general manager of Houlihans, said when Bond first approached him with the idea, he was receptive to it.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on here is personalized service and connecting to our guests,” Burrell said.
“Kaitlyn came to me and said the dinosaurs were left behind, and she had this idea to generate awareness,” he said.
Bond said her idea came from a social media post of a restaurant that had done something similar.
“They used a dragon stuffed animal posing in different situations around,” she said.
On July 23, the dinosaurs made their first Facebook post appearance on Houlihan’s Facebook page.
“Help! Dinosaurs on are on the loose at Houlihan’s! They are hunting for their human. They came to visit on Tuesday, July 20, and never left! They enjoyed dinner with their expert keeper and loved it so much they decided to spend the night. No one picked them back up that morning, so they’ve decided to go on the hunt instead. Please help them find their human by sharing this post! Where will their adventure take them? To be continued ...,” the post read.
Since that time, the dinosaurs have been searching for their owners all over the restaurant and the adjoining hotel. The first stop was Houlihan’s kitchen where they searched in the kitchen’s “Spice Forest” among the cooking seasoning.
The dinosaurs have since ordered their owner’s favorite food to try to entice him back to the restaurant, but since they couldn’t pay their bill, they were made to wash dishes.
After all that hard work, the five dinosaurs relaxed on the Houlihans patio with some cocktails, then decided to take up the search for their human again. This time, they ventured outside the restaurant and into Embassy Suites where they searched for their owner among the plants.
The five mischief-makers have ventured to the pool to search, also, but ended up in the hotel’s laundry room and have helped local musicians playing at the restaurant to get tips from patrons.
They have also crashed a birthday party.
All the searching for their owners caused them to whip up an appetite, so on Wednesday afternoon, the five dinosaurs landed on Bond’s lunch plate.
Bond said the dinosaurs’ antics have really generated a lot of interest in the community.
“The number of people reached is up by 811 percent, our Facebook post engagement is up by 2,493 percent, our likes are up by 2,631 percent,” Bond said, noting all the numbers are organic.
The dinosaurs have also united the entire team at Houlihan’s as co-workers send Bond ideas and different scenario’s to help spread the word that the dinosaurs want to be reunited with their owners.
Burrell said the scenarios also create a sense of urgency that the dinosaurs really need to be reunited.
“These dinosaurs are really wreaking havoc,” Burrell said. “All these things create a story and we still need the owners to claim them.”
Bond said if the owners are located, she plans on sending the dinosaurs home and including a dinosaur-themed gift bag along with them.
“I would also like to create a photo book to send to the owner to document their adventures while at Houlihan’s,” she said.
“We check our emails daily waiting to see if the owners know they left the dinosaurs at Houlihan’s, but we have not received word yet.”
Until then, there is no telling what adventures the five toys will have next, but Bond said the restaurant and hotel staff will continue the saga until the owners are located.
Bond said it’s important to find the owners. “We want this to be a place where people recognize our integrity.”