Once again, weekly developments in the restaurant business suggested an upgrade is needed in the educational system. Dolts who should know better created considerable problems for operators.
Here’s why you should be glad you’re not them.
New twist in social media
Vying for social media attention is tough enough without the weird difficulty that’s being hoisted on restaurants in Houston. An anonymous scalawag has decided to create dozens of Facebook pages for dining choices that exist solely in the scamp’s imagination.
To draw “likes,” the culprit is using images swiped from the pages of actual restaurants. The addresses given for the fake places are the locations of real establishments, raising the possibility that customers will show up with expectations of finding a completely different dining choice.
The cooked-up joints bear names that a real restaurant might: Rocko’s Tacos, and Koharu Ramen Bar. And the descriptions are realistic rather than fantastic, helping the pages to snare considerable “likes.”
Local restaurants reportedly are pushing Facebook to take down the bogus pages, or at least yank out the swiped artwork. To date, about 60 of the pages are in operation.
Shot heard ‘round the dining room
Now that many jurisdictions are allowing gun owners to bring their weapons into restaurants, reports of accidents are emerging with near regularity. A case in point: the phantom firing of a 9 mm pistol at a Texas Roadhouse, where no one knew the source of the shot—including the person carrying the gun, an officer of the court and a former police officer.
Rodney Cummings, the prosecutor for Indiana’s Madison County, acknowledged that he didn’t know initially know the boom was a gun shot, never mind a round from his own gun. He had slipped the pistol into a pocket of his shorts and believes the safety was accidently disengaged.
Cummings, who was cleared of any criminal responsibility, said he would buy a holster to avert any further mishaps.
Mislabeling of a decidedly different sort
It's no secret that some restaurants try to fool customers by labeling inexpensive white-fleshed fish as pricier varieties like grouper, redfish or cod. Some even pound a piece of turkey breast into a paillard and pass it off as veal. Now a restaurant in Anchorage has engineered a new bait-and-switch con, though it may be difficult to pull off outside of Alaska.
The Pump House acknowledged this week that what it listed on the menu as reindeer loin was actually elk—and not even local elk at that. The lower-cost meat was imported from New Zealand.
Authorities discovered that the establishment had been misrepresenting its meat for three years, and hit the restaurant with $50,000 in fines.
One last time: Dogs. Are. Allowed.
Somehow, despite all the coverage in the mainstream media and whatever training is provided, some restaurant employees still aren't grasping the simple principle that service dogs are allowed in dining facilities. The latest examples were requests by two restaurants in Virginia, a state with a sizable military presence, that a customer leave the premises if she insisted on keeping a dog at her side. The patron was Heather Diaz, whose service dog, Brinkley, helps her contend with debilitating headaches and anxiety attacks stemming from her 11 years of service in the U.S. Navy.
The two restaurants, a Genghis Grill and an Olive Garden, have both issued public policies after Diaz went to the media with her accounts.
Diaz noted that she went to a second Olive Garden after the first one said she'd only be seated if surrounding patrons were asked if they had dog allergies, which seated her instantly in compliance with the law.