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The week in ideas, June 10, 2013

This week we look at little ideas to tackle big problems, sticks and carrots for customers and a restaurant that loves its gun owners.

Idea #1: Avocado. That, along with blueberry-pomegranate smoothies, and other fresh, seasonal items are part of the industry’s attempt to get Millennials back into restaurants.

Idea #2: Paper napkins. That, along with reducing portion sizes, staffing changes and raising prices, is how Clyde’s Restaurant Group is reassessing how it does business to meet the challenges of health care reform.

Idea #3:$50 no-show charge. New York’s Le Bernadin slaps customers who skip out on their reservation with a $50 charge. Authors of a new study on the problem of now-shows says other restaurants should not only use a stick, but a carrot for patrons who do show up. Or, they suggest, just do away with reservations all together.

Idea #4: Welcome guns. A new sign on the door of Schlotzsky’s Deli in Little Rock, Arkansas, reads “Firearms Welcome.” "This is simply an accommodation for people that are legally licensed to carry," said owner Jim Magers. "They don't have to think about leaving their guns in the car where it's less secure and it might become a risk to the public."

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