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The Week in Ideas, September 30, 2011

This week an Atlanta restaurateur thinks he has the best restaurant idea in town. We feature two counterintuitive ideas, one from New York City and one from Vegas. And we make our opinion known on the nation’s best BBQ. Don’t let the smoke get in your eyes.

Idea #1: Add a carwash to your restaurant. Sure, why not?  Lemont Bradley, CEO of the new Auto Spa Bistro in Atlanta, thinks the idea is going to be huge. “We’re developing the country club of car washes,” he told the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “The real problem is probably going to be us running out of space for customers.” That’s the spirit!

Idea #2: Bad reviews are good for business. About as counterintuitive as it gets, but some New York City eateries swear it’s true. The New York Post visited several restaurants recently panned by local media, only to find the places hopping with guests. Any publicity is good publicity it seems.

Idea #3: Hard-to-pronounce restaurant names are good for business. Again, counterintuitive, but the idea has its adherents. "When we were putting it together, that was the first thing we thought of—people are not going to call it the right name," Alex Taylor, managing partner of Due Forni in Las Vegas, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Taylor says the difficulty of the name (pronounced dù-e fornì-è) is a branding decision. "There are two ways of looking at it," he said. "Do you want to be so available that there's no distinction, or do you want to be so unique that it would actually hinder your brand awareness?"

Idea #4: Send Rick Perry BBQ. When it comes to who makes the best BBQ, we here at Week in Ideas are steadfastly in the North Carolina corner. Sorry if we lose some readers because of that, but it had to be said. And so, Texas Governor and presidential hopeful Rick Perry did not endear himself to WII when he said the regions BBQ tasted worse than “road kill.” We therefore applaud the state’s Smithfield Chicken and Bar-B-Q idea to send Perry two pounds of their finest. "I strongly encourage you to revisit your experience with Eastern North Carolina Bar-B-Q and give you the opportunity to rectify your statement," a letter from the restaurant to Perry stated.

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