The week in ideas, April 6, 2012

Waitresses take the spotlight this week. Along with a D.C. operator struggling with what to name his new restaurant. And an “upcycling” idea from those crazy guys over at Chipotle.

Idea #1: Servers, get that order right. Always a good idea, but even more important at this Red Lobster in Fairview Heights, Ill. A just-released video shows a waitress getting beat up by four customers when she accidently delivered the wrong food. After appealing to the public for help in identifying them, the customers have been ID’d and charges have been filed.

Idea #2: Take the money and run. We wrestled with what lesson to take from this next item. Waitresses shouldn’t brag about big tips? Waitresses shouldn’t accept tips over $10,000 delivered in a box? At any rate, a Minnesota waitress is suing cops after they seized a box she says was left for her as a tip, containing $12,000. Cops claim it’s drug money. The waitress, Stacy Knutson, says a customer left a to-go box on her table at the Fry'n Pan restaurant. When she followed the customer out to return the box the customer said, “No, I am good, you keep it," the lawsuit claims.

Idea #3: Crowd-sourced name. A D.C. restaurant owner has turned to a local blog and its audience to help name his new place. Check out the contenders in the comment section.

Idea #4: Recycled marketing. Chipotle is at it again. The socially-conscious burrito chain has come up with a nifty plan for Earth Day. Keeping with its sustainability values, it will “upcycle” its old billboard posters, turning them into reusable lunch bags. Fans who buy a bag between March 26 and April 14—selling exclusively on Chipotle.com ($18)—will receive a barcode with the bag that’s redeemable for a free Chipotle menu item (burrito, bowl, salad or taco) on Earth Day (April 22).

 

Today's top stories

1
Danny Meisenheimer has been appointed interim president and CEO of Fiesta Restaurant Group, parent of the Taco Cabana and Pollo Tropical fast-casual brands. Meisenheimer, who previously served as COO...
2
The Black-eyed Pea casual-dining chain has been pared within its home state of Texas to a single store through the recent closings of 12 branches, according to local news reports . Nine units, owned...
3
Eatsa—the tech-rich, automat-like concept expanding from the San Francisco Bay area—was named Restaurant Business’ 2016 Tech Accelerator of the Year, a recognition of the restaurant industry’s...
4
Rob Grimes, chairman of FSTEC 2016 and CEO of the International Food and Beverage Technology Association, discusses what restaurant operators should consider automating. Erik Thoresen, Technomic...
5
Oregon lawmakers have set scheduling regulations as a legislative priority for 2017, putting the state on track to become the first to adopt shift-change restrictions like the ones recently enacted...
6
In an effort to align with customer demand, McDonald’s next week will begin testing a breakfast version of its signature Happy Meal . The test—taking place at 73 locations in the Tulsa, Okla., market...
7
Meatballs and marinara is a universally beloved dish on restaurant menus. But there’s no reason these star ingredients need to be confined to a bowl of pasta. Over the last two years, meatball menu...
8
Same-store sales for the Pie Five fast-casual pizza chain fell 12% for the fourth quarter ended June 26, deepening the losses of parent company Rave Restaurant Group to $2.3 million for the quarter...
9
Ruby Tuesday took more dramatic steps on Thursday to improve the casual-dining chain’s fortunes, announcing corporate layoffs and the sale of the company’s Maryville, Tenn., headquarters. The...
10
Days after Neil Naroff’s departure as chief strategic officer of American Blue Ribbon Holdings was announced, CEO Hazem Ouf revealed he was also leaving the parent of O’Charley’s, Village Inn and...