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The Week in Ideas, February 27, 2012

Cooking over volcano. Keeping vigilant for new managers from corporate who carry crack pipes. And paying workers a living wage and still making a profit.

Idea #1: Hot concept. El Diablo, a restaurant on the Spanish island of Lanzarote, has been designed to capture the heat from an active volcano to cook its food.

Idea #2: Don’t trust people who want to cook their own food at your restaurant. James Summers walked into the Denny’s in Madison, Wisconsin, announced that he was the new manager from corporate, went into the kitchen and started cooking a burger and some fries. The actual general manager called the cops. The police found two crack pipes in 52-year-old Summers briefcase. Granted, sometimes it can seem like corporate is on crack, but Summers turned out to be a fraud.

Idea #3: Pay a living wage. The three-unit chain Colors has a unique idea. Instead of paying workers minimum wage, pay them a living wage. They are hoping to set a standard and show a working model that other concepts could follow.

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