The week in ideas, November 16, 2012

An in-house Iron Chef competition. A gracious restaurant in Jersey. A surcharge for customers in Florida. And a lot more, in this installment of the Week in Ideas.

Idea #1: Host your own Iron Chef. Landry’s, Inc., parent of chains like McCormick & Schmick’s, Morton’s The Steakhosue and Claim Jumper, decided to put the heat on its chefs. Thirty-five of them had to prepare 80 dishes in two days for a panel of nine judges. Each dish had to be prepared in eight minutes or less. The food was judged on taste, but also on how well it met the standard price point. Many of the dishes end up on one of the chains’ menus.

Idea #2: Share your restaurant. Madison, New Jersey, restaurant Rob's Bistro is sharing his space with restaurants displaced by Sandy. Robert Ubhaus: our guy of the week!

Idea #3: Pass the cost to the customer. Or maybe not. John Metz, a Denny’s franchisee in Florida, said on Thursday he would add a 5 percent surcharge to all meals to help cover the cost of health care reform. Denny’s headquarters quickly distanced themselves from Metz’s plan. And then on Friday Metz himself distanced himself from the plan.

Idea #4: Rattlesnake sausage. Or maybe alligator sausage would hit the spot better.

Idea #5: Veterans parking spot. An Applebee’s in southern Louisiana just dedicated two permanent parking spaces for military vets. “It’s a small token to thank them for their sacrifices,” said director of operations Tom Havrilla.

Idea #6: Keep gas in soy sauce containers. And yes, that would be a bad idea. A sushi chef in New York was arrested after the soy sauce container holding his gasoline ignited, severely injuring three.

Today's top stories

1
McDonald’s U.S. restaurants will start offering a limited selection of breakfast items throughout the day beginning Oct. 6, the franchisor confirmed today on Twitter. The move was approved by...
2
When choosing a fast-casual restaurant, do consumers give more weight to concepts serving GMO-free or organic menu items? Fortunately for concepts touting GMO-less menus, GMO-free may have a slight...
3
Cult-favorite Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream is shifting a step in the production of its ice cream to a third-party facility after listeria was traced twice to the chain’s own kitchen. The in-house...
4
The parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons is buying 150,000 shares of its common stock to fuel a new employee stock-purchase program. Employees of Restaurant Brands International can earmark...
5
New York is still the place to scout for tomorrow’s restaurant trends and what’s appealing to hardcore dining-out fans, according to the citizen reviewers who offer post-meal assessments via...
6
The polarizing return of Colonel Sanders continues in KFC’s new series of ads that will offer brief public addresses on current events. Called “Fryerside Chats” – a tongue-in-cheek reference to the “...
7
As McDonald’s expands its test of daylong breakfast, it’s changing the way it cooks items containing English muffins, biscuits and bagels— scrapping liquid margarine in favor of real butter. Signs...
8
Winsight, LLC , the parent company of Restaurant Business Daily and Restaurant Business magazine, announced today that it has acquired Technomic , the leading provider of primary and secondary market...
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Providing exclusive consumer trends and insights to enhance your marketing strategy. Powered by Technomic . “Technomic is a Chicago-based consulting and research firm providing a 360° view of the...
10
A new gauge of the disparity between a CEO’s compensation and the average pay of company workers finds Chipotle Mexican Grill to be second among all U.S. companies in the inequality of corner-office...