The week in ideas, April 20, 2012

A great taco idea comes home to roost. How to help customers eat less (but still sell as much). Like your mother always said: eat your marijuana. And those crazy customers just keep getting crazier.

Idea #1: Tasty taco shells. Was there anybody who looked at Taco Bell’s launch of the Doritos taco shells in March and didn’t think: Well, of course. It was a great idea. And to prove as much, the chain released sales for the first quarter of the year, showing a 6 percent rise over last year. Yum Brand’s Chief Financial Officer Rick Carucci effused in a call with analysts that the launch of Doritos Locos Tacos has been “enormously successful.”

Idea #2: Help diners eat less, but still sell as much. A Wisconsin restaurant is introducing a new program in coordination with its county public health department. It’s a simple, but effective concept that any restaurant could adopt. It’s called the Take ½ Home Option: a guest orders his meal, gets half plated and half boxed to go home. The restaurant sells a full entrée and makes it easier for the guest to keep his calories in check. That’s called win win.

Idea #3: Reefer madness. Those crazy stoners over at High Times just love their marijuana. But not just in handy cigarette form. To help diversify your weed intake, they’ve come up with the High Times Cannabis Cookbook. Bar-B-Cannabis Sauce anyone?

Idea #4: Customers are crazy. In our on-again, off-again series tracking the idea that customers are getting crazier, we bring you Michael Ogborn, a man who really doesn’t like tomatoes. Dining at the Vero Beach, Florida, Sonic Ogborn ordered a hamburger. Without tomatoes. Because Ogborn really doesn’t like them. Well, guess what. His hamburger shows up and it’s got tomatoes on it. Darn it! Ogborn asks for a refund from the manager. He gets his refund. And then punches the manager in the face. Ogborn was taken into custody.



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