The week in ideas, May 21, 2012

This week: help with the tiny print in menus. Chili's gives away phones. A fish fight breaks out between Anchorage and Seattle. A great response to help. And the down side of all-you-can-eat.

Idea #1: Glasses with your menu. Four Baltimore-area restaurants have taken advantage of a local optometrist program, offering free reading glasses and an impromptu eye exam for folks having difficulty reading the menu. “MenuMates,” organized by Katzen Eye Group, provides restaurants with a four complimentary  pairs of the most common strengths of reading glasses, plus an eye chart for diners to determine which glasses they need.

Idea #2: Free smartphones. Chili’s has a new app—as in application, not appetizer—and a promotion to help get people hooked. Place an order of $25 or more through the Chili’s website and get a free Android smartphone loaded with the app.

Idea #3: Fish fight! Miffed that Seattle restaurants have long boasted serving the first Copper River king salmon of the season—thanks to a high-profile promotion from Alaska Airlines—a new Anchorage restaurant attempted to beat them to the punch. "The thing is, it's our fish, OK?" Patrick Hoogerhyde, owner of Bridge Seafood restaurant, told the Tacoma News Tribune. "I'm Alaskan. That's the way it is. And for Seattle to get the first one, yeah, that's a little pinch now and then." A 30-pound king was presented to Hoogerhyde last Friday. Told Seattle had received its kings only hours before, Hoogerhyde responded, "Oh, those (bleeps)!"

Idea #4: Great Yelp Response. Not sure what restaurant this is, but a great response to a negative Yelp review: a sign out front reads, “Come in and try the worst meatball sandwich that one guy on Yelp ever had in his life.”

Idea #5: All-you-can-eat may not be worth the trouble. Chuck’s Place, a seafood restaurant in Thiensville, Wisconsin, had an all-you-can-eat fish fry on a recent Friday. But apparently it wasn’t all 6'6", 350-pound Bill Wisth could eat. Wisth was cut off after his twelve pieces. Aghast at such horrible treatment, Wisth called the cops and later staged a one-man protest, claiming that somebody needed to look after “consumer rights.” And some people wonder why the rest of the world hates us.




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