The weather has been weird, and so has the business of running restaurants, as this roundup of recent oddities and management challenges attests.
Nightmare customers of the week: three-car crash
A drive-thru line typically creeps at single-digit speeds, so it’s always been a head-scratcher that some customers can’t navigate it without damaging their vehicles. But, trust us, post-weekend news is typically filled with instances of car-bound guests crashing either into fellow patrons or the restaurant itself.
Still, the crash this week outside a Taco Bellin the South Euclid section of Cleveland, Ohio, was something unique: A three-car collision that closed the drive-thru, left one vehicle canted on its side, and required the intervention of first-responders to extract one of the drivers. Producers of The Fast & The Furious would have hesitated to attempt such a scene.
Critter encounter of the week: Masked egg roll bandits
Only in New York City would the Pizza Rat, the slice-toting rodent caught in a widely circulated video last year, become the benchmark other varmints would strive to beat. And now it’s clearly been bested.
A video viewed more than one million times captures the invasion of a Chinese restaurant in the Bronx, one of Gotham’s more urban boroughs, by a duo of marauding raccoons. The masked bandits had to be shooed out of the quick-service place with a raccoon extraction device, a.k.a. a broom.
Management challenge of the week: The nano-second rich
Like ticket buyers everywhere, the staff of Grissini Ristorante in New Jersey carefully checked their Power Ball numbers last weekend to see if they’d won the nearly $1 billion prize. But no one was likely more excited as the crew realized they’d done it—their numbers matched the six that had been drawn! They were millionaires many times over!
Screw working. A dishwasher quit on the spot. A valet told a customer to go get his own car. Staff and patrons alike burst into tears. Observers used their smart phones to capture the moment for posterity, or at least for YouTube.
And then someone noticed a problem: They’d checked their tickets against the numbers that’d been pulled from a website. And the site hadn’t updated the figures from the prior week. If their tickets had been chosen for the earlier drawing, they’d have won that prize. But the numbers didn’t match the figures drawn for the $900-million-plus pot of the current week.
What they had was merely a curious and particularly agonizing miss. And a very jarring return to earth.
But stay tuned. According to news reports, the staff has already spent more than $400 on tickets for the next drawing, when the prize is expected to be in the $1.5 billion range.