Welcome to a very special episode of Weird Restaurant Stories. This does not mean that Arthur Carlson will try to take naked pictures of Gary Coleman while the girl from Striptease pops caffeine pills and Tom Hanks gets hammered on vanilla extract in Michael J Fox’s kitchen. Nope, this one is even more special. Today’s weird restaurant stories come with a theme. Even though the economy is rough, restaurants open everyday. Today I want to share my insight with restaurant owners on how to open a successful restaurant.
Your location drives traffic. However, traffic should not drive into your location. The title “Van Drives Through Popeyes Restaurant” at first sounds like the slowest news day ever. Unless it is literal. (Macon, GA)
Accidents may happen, but at lightning never strikes twice right? Kuong Chan it is time to find a new location. Take note that once again it is a van. This is further proof that anyone driving a van that is not a soccer mom should be on a watch list. (Salem, OR)
Still these two are steps ahead of Nick Barone who still hasn’t found a location for Stevi B’s. With a concept so original he could open this just about anywhere. (Fort Payne, AL)
One restaurant in South Bend, IN doesn’t have to worry about being run into with cars. It is built like a bomb shelter. Unfortunately, that is what their potential customers often think they are. (South Bend, IN)
The name of your restaurant should inspire confidence in the diner. They should feel like you will be around for generations. That is why naming it after a defunct airline is probably not advisable. (Columbus, OH)
I am also going to advise against naming your restaurant after an oil well that blew up and shot 100,000 barrels of oil a day 150 feet in the air for nine days and covered a city in oil. I suppose the name “Deepwater Horizon” was already taken. (Houston, TX)
Your name should be exciting. It should inspire your guests imagination and provide at least hope that their dreams might come true. Take a tip from this brilliant restaurateur. (Nazareth Township, PA)
Once you have decided on a location and a name, take a moment to consider what type of building materials you will use. I do not recommend following the example of this restaurant, which was apparently built of used tires and jet fuel. (Murray Hill, NY)
Staffing your restaurant has it’s own challenges. How closely you look at a social security card that was drawn in crayon is up to you. I would recommend paying taxes on all your employees. Immigration may be illegal, but not paying taxes will get you raided. (Centerville, VA)
Publicity is very important to a new restaurant. Fortunately with the massive layoffs of newspaper writers all across the country you can get most anything published. Follow the example of Wingstop and declare yourself the number one restaurant even if you are rated 139th. Someone will run the press release without reading it. (Elmwood Park, IL)
All of your publicity will probably bring in some celebrities and high-ranking officials. This is time to bring in security. Do not wait until after a district judge has been stabbed multiple times and a guest has been thrown through the window. Otherwise rumors might start that strange things are afoot at the Circle T. (Airport Gardens, KY)
Even if you do everything right your restaurant may fail. Follow these tips though and you will definitely make it further than this L.A. restaurant that closed before it opened. Or did it just stay closed. Can something be closed if it never opens? If a restaurant closes in L.A., and no one ever opened it, did it really make a sound? (Los Angeles, CA)
I hope this lesson has proven helpful to all of the future restaurant owners out there. These are the dozen stories capping this week in weird restaurant news. A quick look at the scoreboard shows that…. Wait what is this? Another news story from a restaurant this week?
I read about 500 story blurbs a week to come up with the column. This week at least 100 of them were the same story. Every newspaper in America decided to cover the story this week of a North Carolina restaurant owner who decided to burn The Koran. Scratch that, she just decided to post a sign reminding parents that the other diners don’t want to hear their screaming kids. Welcome to America where this is instantly called “discrimination.” (Carolina Beach, NC)
A baker’s dozen of stories this week. Now to the scoreboard:
The South Atlantic region has expanded it’s lead this week. The East North Central region had a strong showing this week and jumped way up in the rankings. I want to make it clear that the West North Central region is really disappointing me. I am not biased against stories from my own region. In fact anything remotely interesting would have scored this week. I am setting a countdown of three more weeks. After that I am taking things into my own hands.
One bit of housekeeping before we move on to the US vs The World segment. This segment was created to give me the chance to talk about the German cannibal restaurant. One point was scored for the world with this story. It was disclosed this week that the story was a hoax created by German vegetarians. After great deliberation I have decided not to strip The World of this point. Here is America our vegetarians are far less creative and tend to stick with trying to appear naked to protest meat consumption. For sheer creativity in conning the media, Germany deserves the point.
I was pretty concerned for the US this week. The “Chinese Madonna” used to be a dishwasher. Which means that China has far more attractive dishwashers than they do here. That story got beat out by the owner of a restaurant sued for it being filthy. The owner through the manager under the bus. Which makes sense because I constantly hear owners wanting to spend all sorts of money on their restaurants and managers refusing to let them. What really makes the story is the name of the restaurant though. After much deliberation I have decided that The US wins this week with the judge stabbing story and the epic Bill and Ted joke it set up. This means the score is now USA 2 World 1.
For the record I am radically opposed to violence against judges. Especially any who I may one day appear in front of. Might I say how nice your hair looks today your honor. That is all for this week. Come back next week for another episode of Weird Restaurant Stories.