The week in ideas, July 15, 2011

Five ideas this week. Two you'd probably call more theories than ideas, but we're not that particular. Bans were in style this week. Restaurants kept serving kids alcohol. A little restaurant on restaurant love in Portland. And more

Idea #1: I don’t want you in my restaurant idea. It was a week for bans. Not people banning restaurants, but restaurants banning people. A Pittsburgh restaurant grabbed headlines for banning kids under 6. curmudgeonly Mike Vuick, owner of the restaurant McDain’s, emailed regulars saying, “We feel that McDain's is not a place for young children. Their volume can't be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.” Meanwhile, Florida restaurant Skyline Chili instituted more of a symbolic ban: from now on, no Casey Anthony jurors allowed in the place. That’ll show ’em.

Idea #2: Here’s an idea… more training. Ok restaurants, time to train your waitstaff and bartenders better on serving alcohol. Another kid was served alcohol. On July 4, a Chili’s outside Denver served a group of kids a fully loaded margarita, as opposed to the virgin daiquiri the kids’ mother had ordered. This comes on the heals of another Chili’s, this one in Chicago, served a little girl a Mudslide instead of a chocolate shake. Earlier last month, a 15-month-old got a margarita instead of his juice at an Applebee’s in Detroit. And before that an Olive Garden in Florida gave a two year old sangria. What’s going on?

Idea #3: Restaurants helping restaurants idea. Another one from the Fourth of July. Aviary, a Portland, Oregon, restaurant, was badly damaged by fire. Inspectors guess it was from fireworks. This week, owners of popular Portland resturaunt Pok Pok, offered Aviary use of one of its restaurants on Sundays and Mondays when it’s usually closed. Another local restaurant, Firehouse, is going to hold a fundraiser for Aviary. Pretty cool stuff.

Idea #4: Restaurants, the great equalizer. Everybody has worked in restaurants. Hamid Karzai’s half brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, who was assassinated this week, used to run a restaurant in Chicago called Helmand.

Idea #5: Your fork makes you fat. A new study found that the bigger your fork, the less you’ll eat. According to Fast Company, “The study, which comes from the Journal of Consumer Research, experimented with fork sizes at a popular Italian restaurant chain in the Southwestern United States. Diners were separated out into tables containing large forks and small forks. The large forks could hold 20% more food than the restaurant's standard fork, and the small forks were able to hold 20% less. Each time a server took a customer's order, they would weigh the full plate of food before serving. At the end of the meal, the plates were weighed once again. The result: People who used the big forks ate less than their small fork counterparts.”



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