Some weeks you all make me proud. It wasn’t until I perused at least 150 headlines that I determined this was going to be a special week. I have full boat of weird restaurant stories for you this week without a single person getting seriously hurt or murdered. Sure there were a few run of the mill robberies and a disproportionate number of cars driving into restaurants, but no one was hurt. I am rewarding you all with a very special treat at the end of this post.
That is not to say that nothing interesting happened this week. Let’s take a look at some of the more interesting stories from around the world.
Let’s start with my hometown paper. After scathing exposes recently determining that water was in fact wet and the world is actually round, they were looking for another revelation. It turns out that banning smoking makes formerly smoky bars less smoky. It also reduces the need for ashtrays. Further reason why I get all my local news from my favorite local blogger. (Kansas City, MO)
A restaurant in Tucson decided to spice up its menu a bit. Sure they have all the traditional taco meats: beef, pork, chicken, and fish. They decided to up the ante and offer something a bit less traditional: lion. I’m surprised this story caught on. I mean there has been hardly any media in Tucson this week. (Tucson, AZ)
We have a guest that frequents my restaurant with a lap dog. She has it registered as a service animal so she can take it anywhere she wants even though it is carried the whole time. It turns out there is nothing illegal about it. A restaurant in Canada recently took the opposite approach with an actual service dog. This never ends well. (Barrie, ON)
I love police blotters. There is something about summarizing an entire story in one paragraph that leaves tremendous opportunities for humor. Towards the bottom of this one is a hidden gem. A guest demanding additional barbeque sauce got into an altercation with an employee. No guns, knives, or bats for this guy. His weapon of choice: ketchup packets. (Delray. FL)
This group of High School students took this form of combat to a higher level. A food fight caused a restaurant to have to close early. They say kids are maturing faster in this new modern world. I have to agree because previously you had to go to college to have a good food fight. (Chicago, IL)
Canada comes through strong this week with a second story. A restaurant owner apparently was buying far more lobsters than he was selling. This makes for a bad week of food costs. Once that bad week of ordering turns into years, the taxman gets curious. Apparently there is a difference between not selling these and not paying taxes on them. (Richmond, VC)
This is still better than the treatment he would get from the government in Malaysia. One restaurant owner recently arrived at his restaurant to find the government demolishing it without notice. This qualifies as a bad day. This is also the second story from this city in as many weeks. There must be something in the water. (George Town, Malaysia)
Not that the government in the states is always right either. A group of employees protesting a restaurant that owed them back wages had a run in with the police. The police allegedly told the protestors that they could circulate their names to other restaurants and create a blacklist. I suppose that would be way more fun than actually fighting crime. (New Haven, CT)
I’m not saying that this story has anything to do with the previous story. I’m just saying that the officers in New Haven better hope their blacklist works. (Evesham, NJ)
I want to wrap up this week’s list with a trio of happy stories. Like an unemployed IT guy who wanted to do something productive while on unemployment. He made bbq for friends who convinced him to sell it. Starting in a tent with 20 pounds of meat he tested the waters. As traffic grew so did his space until he recently opened his own restaurant. (Lebanon, OH)
A bar recently came up with an idea to get guests to come out on nights where police would be looking for impaired drivers. The free ride system was a success. So much so that the bar decided to offer it every night. This is a great idea and a huge benefit to the community. (Florence, SC)
I proposed a slightly different (better) version of this next charitable plan to a boss for the first time in 2002. He didn’t think it would work. It has worked for a restaurant in Shelby, NC who is rewarding church-goers for dining at their establishment. Giving back to your community is always a good business model. (Shelby, NC)
Well I promised a special treat at the end of this post to reward the restraint shown by potential criminals nationwide. I have mentioned my girlfriend a few times on this blog. If you read what I feel is the worst post on this blog, you have even seen a picture. One of my favorite things about her is that she lacks the ability to be embarrassed. The following link shows one example of this captured on video. This went on for at least two minutes before I was able to sneak my camera phone out to capture it. Turns out I didn’t need to be sneaky because the first thing she said when I got in the car was, “You’re going to put that on facebook, right?” So I did and now I will share this amazing video with all of you.