The Week in Ideas, June 17, 2011

This week two big names in food joined forces. A couple of scammers had a good idea, until a Smashburger employee got a better idea. And we offer an idea of our own to some of your misguided patrons.

Idea #1 El Bulli potato chip idea: Pepsico announced this week it will partner with “arguably the best chef in the world,” Ferran Adria of El Bulli, to create new products and work to make existing products more healthful. Can Frito Foam be far behind?

Idea #2 Watch those calls from HQ idea: A pair of grifters were arrested in Folsom, Calif., this week after pulling off a scam at several restaurants. Cops were clued into their whereabouts when an attentive Smashburger assistant manager received a call supposedly from corporate headquarters. The person on the phone said a customer had been overcharged $80 and would be showing up for a refund. The employee called the cops. The pair had pulled off the scam at at least five other restaurants, according to the Sacremento CBS affiliate.

Idea #3 An idea for your customers: stop calling 911! This week a Savannah, Ga., woman called 911 because a Chinese restaurant got her order wrong. She joins a venerable sisterhood. In 2009 a Dallas woman called 911 because her fried rice didn’t have enough shrimp. In 2005 a woman in California called the emergency line from a Burger King drive thru: “I asked them four different times to make me a Western Barbeque Burger. Okay, they keep giving me a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, and cheese, onions, and I said, "I'm not leaving . . ." Not to be outdone by their neighbors to the south, a Vancouver, BC, woman called 911 last year because there was a hair in her food. Do we need new signs next to the Heimlich maneuver posters?

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