Every week I bring you the weirdest stories from the world of restaurants. Some weeks are definitely weirder than others. This week most certainly qualifies as one of those. After the last few weeks being particularly calm, this week all the crazies returned. Arson, prevented arson, lawsuits, and more. This was a very weird week.
As always, lets start with some follow-ups on stories on stories I have been following:
It all begins with Keoni’s by Keo. This is the Hawaiian restaurant that started adding an automatic gratuity to all non-English speakers. This policy received a great deal of notoriety in the short time it was enforced. They have decided to rescind this policy rather than face a potential fine. (Waikiki, HI)
Last month, I wrote about a Texas man who had a loaded gun fall out of his coat. The gun hit the floor and shot a woman in the rear. The man says he didn’t know the gun was in his coat. The family wants to see the man face criminal and civil charges. Only in Texas do people forget about the loaded handgun in their coat. (Bullard, TX)
This brings us to a new old guy with gun story. A 67 year old man was vacationing at a resort. He became upset with the bartender and left. He returned later to resume the fight, but this time was packing heat. A patron took the gun away and the man was arrested. Guns are just too available to the senior set. It is easier for these people to get a gun than it is to get the early bird special. (Lakeview, AR)
In other “patrons stopping crime” news, an Army Reservist recently stopped an arson attempt in progress. He attributes his martial arts training for his ability to stop the crime. Well that and the arsonist was drunk, twice his age, and armed only with a gas can. As a bonus, the quotes he provided afterwards to the reporter are some of the more morbid I have read in a while. (Chicago, IL)
In Canada, they plan their arsons a little bit better. A restaurant was firebombed last week. It is the second time in the last three months it has been hit with Molotov Cocktails. Something tells me that this might be personal. (Montreal, QB)
In the US a group of teens raided a restaurant with cans of pepper spray. If any teens at home are reading this, let me clarify something for you. Silly string = funny prank. Pepper spray = jail time. (Jackson, MS)
Canada also seems to be a little more advanced at the prank game. Pranksters have been convincing restaurant employees and patrons to pull the fire alarm to “test” them. It turns out they work. It also causes thousands of dollars in damage. (Vancouver, BC)
All of these attacks should just be more reasons not to store your drugs at the restaurant where you work. An Aspen restaurant employee did not get the message and the police found 60 grams of coke and a few thousand dollars he had stashed there. I don’t even leave my IPod lying around at my restaurant. This guy must really trust his co-workers. (Aspen, CO)
You also must trust your co-owners. The reputation of your restaurant can be incredibly damaged if your co-owner is accused of a crime. I doubt anyone is really excited to eat at the restaurant owned by the woman accused of making kiddie porn. That is right, I did say woman. (Cranston, MA)
Finally, a story featuring such poor parenting that it puts many of the stories above in perspective. A mother dines and dashes from a restaurant. She leaves her 12 year old daughter behind. She doesn’t dash any further than the parking lot. She then reports that her daughter was kidnapped. The whole time employees of the restaurant are looking after her daughter and trying to talk her into returning to the restaurant. This is how you turn walking out on your tab into a much longer string of charges. (Bonita Springs, FL)
Not really any way to top that story, so I am ending on a weird high note. I have updated the index for weird restaurant stories above, if you are craving more weirdness. Tomorrow, I will return the blog to normal stories of restaurants with the industry insider. Next week has some great stuff on tap, come back to check it all out.