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The week in ideas, April 6, 2012

Waitresses take the spotlight this week. Along with a D.C. operator struggling with what to name his new restaurant. And an “upcycling” idea from those crazy guys over at Chipotle.

Idea #1: Servers, get that order right. Always a good idea, but even more important at this Red Lobster in Fairview Heights, Ill. A just-released video shows a waitress getting beat up by four customers when she accidently delivered the wrong food. After appealing to the public for help in identifying them, the customers have been ID’d and charges have been filed.

Idea #2: Take the money and run. We wrestled with what lesson to take from this next item. Waitresses shouldn’t brag about big tips? Waitresses shouldn’t accept tips over $10,000 delivered in a box? At any rate, a Minnesota waitress is suing cops after they seized a box she says was left for her as a tip, containing $12,000. Cops claim it’s drug money. The waitress, Stacy Knutson, says a customer left a to-go box on her table at the Fry'n Pan restaurant. When she followed the customer out to return the box the customer said, “No, I am good, you keep it," the lawsuit claims.

Idea #3: Crowd-sourced name. A D.C. restaurant owner has turned to a local blog and its audience to help name his new place. Check out the contenders in the comment section.

Idea #4: Recycled marketing. Chipotle is at it again. The socially-conscious burrito chain has come up with a nifty plan for Earth Day. Keeping with its sustainability values, it will “upcycle” its old billboard posters, turning them into reusable lunch bags. Fans who buy a bag between March 26 and April 14—selling exclusively on Chipotle.com ($18)—will receive a barcode with the bag that’s redeemable for a free Chipotle menu item (burrito, bowl, salad or taco) on Earth Day (April 22).


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