Honesty can hurt, as a restaurant painfully learned when it tried to be completely transparent about a significant dining room problem.
It wasn’t the only establishment to feel the downside of the truth—or to smell a rat.
Here’s a deeper look at some of the week’s painful lessons.
The TMI discount
Operations gurus say it’s important for restaurants to get credit for the extras they extend to customers. Otherwise, what’s the point of incurring the cost?
Yet an Asian restaurant in California went a little too far in reminding a recent party why a quarter of its charges were knocked off the bill. The customers likely didn’t need an explanation printed right on the tab that they qualified for a “seen rat” discount.
The patrons said they’d spotted a rodent scurrying around their feet at Fat’s Asia Bistro. Yet that didn’t prompt them to bolt. Instead, they were so touched by their discount—$30.95 off a $116.80 bill—that they told friends, one of whom asked to see the tab. She, in turn, posted it on Facebook, where it went viral.
One viewer alerted the health authorities serving Fat’s hometown of Folsom, Calif., who descended on the establishment to see if it had a rodent problem. They found no indications of rats, mice or other safety violations.
BK employees slate their own LTO
It’s not unusual for guests to request a particular server’s station when being assigned a table. Eyebrows were raised when customers of a Burger King started specifying whom they wanted to take their order at the drive-thru.
Patrons would ask at the microphone if they could deal with Nasty Boy, and would then place an order for “fries extra crispy.” Curiously, the order handed through the pass-thru was in a coffee cup.
Suspicions lead to scrutiny, which revealed Nasty Boy, aka Garrett Norris, was apparently selling marijuana at the Epping, N.H., restaurant in collaboration with another kitchen employee. The code word was “fries extra crispy.”
Norris and his colleague were arrested and are scheduled to be arraigned at the end of the month.
Healthy tongue biting
A pub in a Chicago suburb figured it’d be candid in its reaction to all the controversy over President Trump’s directives on building a wall along the Mexican border. During the new administration’s first week, Durty Nellie’s added a limited-time option called the Build-A-Wall Burger Special. For $15, patrons could stack as many four-ounce burger patties as they wanted atop a brioche bun. They could then top the “wall” with a variety of Mexican condiments.
The limited-time offer proved more limited than Nellie’s had expected. Word of the tongue-in-cheek special touched off a firestorm of protest, apparently from both sides on the issue of building a wall.
Management yanked the offer and apologized via a variety of channels, including Facebook.
It did not reveal what effect the irreverence had on sales.
Proving a security lapse
A man suspected something was amiss when he walked into a Pizza Hut in the United Kingdom and didn’t find employees behind the counter. So he took out his phone and started shooting a video as he searched for the staff, eager to nail the truth about what was up.
What Ace Brown didn’t realize was that the restaurant was passed its closing time, but the employees had forgotten to lock the doors. The seriousness of their lapse was driven home when Brown walked into the kitchen, where he found a male and female employ in their uniforms.
Brown alleges on the video that the two hastily straightened their garments, and asked them outright if they were having sex.
The woman tells him that they were not, and were counting money. She then threatens to call the police until Brown leaves—and the door is presumably locked behind him.