The week in ideas, April 2, 2012

This week we look at a new security tool, a bad promotion idea, fake Yelp reviews and Google's idea for boosting your drive-thru traffic.

Idea #1: Keep a sword handy. If we have an idea-of-the-year contest, this one will definitely be in contention. So a burglar tries to rob this pirate-themed restaurant in Daytona. It’s called Captain Steamers Oyster Bar. The security guard at the place doesn’t carry a gun. So what does he do? He grabs a freakin’ sword from the wall and uses it to hold the guy until the cops come. Something tells me the rent-a-cop had his eye on that sword for some time. Still a pretty swashbuckling move.

Idea #2: Use domestic violence as an ad hook. And this idea would not be in contention. A Georgia chef promoted his restaurant’s sandwich, the Caribbean Black and Bleu, on Facebook saying, “Chris Brown won’t beat you up for eating this unless your name starts with a[n] R and ends with A.” The chef, Richard Miley of Hops & Chops, returned to Facebook days later after getting pounded for the remarks, saying in a statement, “The owners of C&H would like to make sure everyone knows that we and our staff DO NOT SUPPORT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. Many of us have been affected by domestic violence in some manner and realize that this is no joke.” 

Idea #3: Buy fake Yelp reviews. No telling how many companies like this are out there, but some Philadelphia restaurants were contacted recently by a “reputation management firm” that specializes in “correcting negative reviews” of restaurants on social media sites, according to a company email obtained by Eater. The company promises all sorts of increases in your ratings on Yelp, with their main tool in doing so paying people to write fake reviews. Read more at Eater.

Idea #4: One way to boost traffic. Google just released a new video of their driverless car taking a blind man to Taco Bell.

 

 

Today's top stories

1
Starbucks has named former Under Armour SVP Leanne Fremar as executive creative director of the coffee chain. In her new role, effective in October, Fremar will oversee the development of creative...
2
A 5.9% domestic traffic decline at Outback Steakhouse and a 4.8% drop at Carrabba’s stung parent-company Bloomin’ Brands during the second quarter, leaving the casual-dining giant with a loss of $8.1...
3
Confirming reports that the burrito giant would next take on burgers , Chipotle said it will open its first Tasty Made burger restaurant in Ohio this fall. The Tasty Made spinoff will have a limited...
4
The Ruby Tuesday casual chain was shortened by 10 restaurants yesterday when its Illinois franchisee abruptly closed all remaining branches in the state. The stores were operated by RT Midwest...
5
Johnny Rockets has named John Maguire president and CEO of the casual-dining chain, adding to Maguire’s duties as president and CEO of Friendly’s , a post he will retain. The two restaurant brands,...
6
The number one takeout driver for millennials: speed of service. Sixty-seven percent of millennials name speed as the top reason they choose a restaurant for takeout and delivery, according to...
7
Following two quarters of notable same-store sales growth , McDonald’s comps missed financial predictions during its most recent quarter, leading some analysts to question the long-term efficacy of...
8
When I work with operators, I often feel like a therapist who is challenged to get to the root of the problem. To be sure, having the right equipment for your menu can make your operation more...
9
Ruth’s Hospitality Group has promoted Chief Branding Officer Cheryl Henry to president and COO of the fine-dining company, which is parent to the Ruth’s Chris steakhouse brand . Henry has held a...
10
Kevin Reddy has stepped down as CEO of the Noodles & Company fast-casual chain, surrendering day-to-day operations to CFO Dave Boennighausen until a permanent replacement is found. Reddy’s duties...