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The week in ideas, March 4, 2013

Charging for bathroom use. Bacon isn’t done yet. Hiring hard workers. And a good use for restaurant-violation fees.

Idea #1: Charging for bathroom use. That sign that says, “Bathroom for customers only”? Well, the folks at the Flood Zone restaurant in Erin, Tennessee, take it seriously. And so does the local sheriff. With the sheriff’s help, the owners of the restaurant tracked down Patricia Barnes from her license plate number. Turns out she had used the bathroom without buying anything. The restaurant sent her a bill for $5.

Idea #2: Bacon-wrapped Moon Pies. Just one of the menu items at Gastonia, North Carolina’s new Bacon Inc. Bar and Grill.

Idea #3: Find new hires in unexpected places. If you didn’t see this one yet, it’s pretty great. Art Bouvier, the owner of Indianapolis Cajun restaurant Papa Roux, was dealing with the snow in front of his restaurant when a teen trudging through the storm asked for direction to the local store where he was going for a job interview. When Bouvier saw the young man walking back through the snow, he offered the teen a job on the spot.

Idea #4: Use sanitation violation fees to pay for food-safety classes. The Erie County Council in Pennsylvania just approved using restaurant fines to pay for food-safety classes.

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