Welcome back to the first edition of Weird Restaurant Stories of 2011. This year I am introducing some changes to the format of this feature. Most notably, I am removing the regional competition. I am also eliminating the US versus The World contest every week. This will allow for more international stories when they are abundant. It will also prevent me from having to search for one when they are not. The number of stories is also no longer limited to twelve. This should leave openings for a few more great stories when they appear. I hope these changes streamline the column without taking away from the entertainment value.
Let’s kick off with the most reported story of the week. An employee was fired from McDonalds for letting a guest in after hours to use the restroom. It merits mention that this guest was Minnesota Vikings Star Adrian Peterson. The employee was rehired after the story broke. (Minneapolis, MN)
The second most reported story of the week had the opposite effect. A guest sent an email to book a private party at a Ruth’s Chris. The GM attached some racist comments before forwarding the email to the coordinator. The coordinator did not delete these comments before forwarding the email to the guest. The GM was immediately canned. (Ridgeland, MS)
Apparently this problem is not limited to the states. A Malaysian legislator apparently dropped some choice words of his own on an Indian restaurant owner. Not speaking Malaysian myself I turned to google translate. It gave me “close the shop, behind India” as a translation. I think it must have lost something in translation. (George Town, Malaysia)
Sometimes the translation is not the problem. I ran across these restaurant reviews and they caught my eye. Acclaim like “combining the fresh flavours of air-flown salmon to create an explosion of prosperity upon the palate” creates a visual I am not sure how to interpret. (Medan Damansara, Malaysia)
In other randomness, a chain of Firehouse Subs has a new type of Coke machine. It offers over 100 varieties of Coke products. On a related note, Coke has 100 products? It is not included in the article, but I strongly predict the most common order is for… Coke. (Jacksonville, FL)
This woman found something different on her last trip to the Waffle House, a piece of wire. This is not unusual except that she found it in her waffle. Actually she found it in her throat after being in her waffle. I know what “smatter, smothered, and covered” means, but what is the code word for “no wire”? (Knoxville, TN)
A Texas restaurant is giving away a different freebie: beer. Apparently the owner has decided to circumvent the need for a liquor license by giving away beer instead of charging for it. If word of this decision spreads, I anticipate a lot of people planning trips to East Texas for barbeque. (Bullard, TX)
In Australia, getting free booze can be a bit more difficult. This group of inventive kids took a boat through a flood to break into a restaurant and steal a drink. Even during a flood this is pretty obvious. I am also certain it is easier to just buy the stuff than to carry out this plan. (Brisbane, Australia)
It would not be natural to go through a weeks worth of stories and not have a little crime. In 2011, I am going to raise the bar for these crimes though. No longer will a Subway being robbed make the list. That is unless the same Subway gets robbed twice in 24 hours. (Nashville, TN)
As a manager, I have seen many mistakes that people can make to ruin their chances of getting a job. This story adds one more to the list. I am pretty certain that robbing a restaurant during your interview will prevent you from getting the job. (Sugar Land, TX)
This weeks strangest restaurant shooting happened purely by accident. A 66 year old man dropped his concealed weapon. It fired and shot a 71 year old woman in the rear. This gives new meaning to the phrase, “a shot in the ass.” (Houston, TX)
At least that one was by accident. Another unfortunate victim was beaten at a restaurant just for asking for napkins. I have dealt with plenty of high maintenance guests, but this reaction might be a little excessive. (Rochester, NY)
I have reported several times in the past about the theft of restaurant grease. There is actually a pretty healthy market for the stuff. Apparently some drivers who were in charge of collecting it were not concerned with selling it. They instead dumped it down the sewer drain. (San Antonio, TX)
Not all crimes that get restaurant owners in the paper happen while they own the restaurant. I know it is difficult to raise capital to start a restaurant. Selling heroin is probably not the best plan. I did not know the “things” in “Wings n Things” meant a bag of smack. (Anchorage, AK)
That is all for this week. Let me know what you think of the changes. The comment section is yours to pass along such things. Share your thoughts with the rest of the class and hope to see you all next week. In the meantime, did you check out the 2010 Best of Weird Restaurant Stories recap yet?