Weird Restaurant Stories 12/4

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I will be honest.  Last week’s batch of restaurant stories was pretty lame.  Apparently everyone took a week off of doing really stupid things in restaurants.  No need to worry though because this week people nationwide made up for their restraint last week.  I am willing to go so far as to say that this may be one of the best installments of this series yet.  Enough of me yappin, here is what I mean.

Before we get started, here are a couple of updates on stories featured in previous weeks.  The discrimination lawsuit against McFadden’s that I have been discussing over the last month has been settled out of court.  The General Manager who (allegedly) sent the text, “We don’t want black people we are a white bar!” has been fired. Also Omaha is the newest city to be warning of fake health inspectors.  Has anyone googled, “scam ideas that are more obvious than an email from Nigeria” to see if any information on this pops up?

Now onto this week’s stories.  Chad and Steve wanted to have a nice meal for Steve’s birthday.  Which obviously means ordering snails.  When Steve went to put his fork into a snail it… let me use Steve’s words, “We had no reason to expect that when we put the fork into the escargot, it would explode — literally jump 2 to 3 inches off the plate.”  Apparently snails are capable of jumping, but only after they are dead, cooked in butter, and stabbed with a fork.  Either that or someone needs to explain to Steve what “literally” means.  (San Rafael, CA)

I am an anti-patio guy.  I do not like sitting outside to eat.  I have seen several meals ruined by bird droppings.  I have yet to see one ruined by birds dropping.  Apparently the 50 or so dead birds that fell on this restaurant were a better alternative than a little bird poop.  Might want to rethink the poison game plan here.  (Venice, FL)

I love sticking it to celebrity chefs.  Gordon Ramsey usually gets a pass because I am actually a fan.  It has been a bad week for the Chef as he made the news twice.  First his New York restaurant fails to pay its trash bills.  Then the winner of this year’s Hell’s Kitchen does not actually get to work at the Savoy Hotel in London.  On a related note, Escoffier has stopped spinning in his grave.  (New York, NY)

While Ramsey’s trash might be sitting for a while, others have taken it upon themselves to remove any number of items from restaurants.  These include meat (Labelle, FL) grease (Springfield, MO), and even an industrial dishwasher (Susquehanna Township, PA).  You know cash spends really easily.  Most everyone takes it.  I am not sure that WalMart accepts payment in used fryer grease.  Maybe next time look for some of that green paper lying around.  I don’t think even Kaiser Soze has a fence for this kind of stuff.

An exception to that last rule can be made for the next thief.  I am not sure thief is even the right word.  We wandered into a restaurant with no money and instantly started scaring off patrons.  It was the fourth time in a week this offender had done it.  The frustrated owner did what all owners secretly want to do and fatally shot him.  I am pretty sure they are rethinking their weekly special of “lovely picanic baskets.”  (Tahoe City, CA)

Other restaurants seem to be getting in trouble for their deliveries.  Selling something as “made in house” or “locally sourced” is a great marketing technique.  It also is a great way to save some money on food costs.  This however does not apply to marketing liquor.  This story would have been infinitely cooler if the moonshiner was named Beau, Luke, or Uncle Jesse.  (Sebring, FL)

The title, “Owner of restaurant set on fire believes he’s victim of hate crime” caught my eye.  The fact that someone wrote, “Get out of our country” on the door of his restaurant before it was set on fire leads me to agree.  I think I speak for a vast majority of Americans when I say that “our country” does not believe in arson as a proper expression of backward ass xenophobia and racism.  This restaurateur has only lived in our country for 8 years, but already has a much better idea of what it means to be an American than the redneck who did this.  (Louisville, KY)

For seemingly the hundredth time on this blog I am pointing out that a night manager’s nametag is not some sort of spanish fly for young girls.  I will stop pointing it out as soon as stories like this stop happening.  There were actually a couple stories this week on this topic, but honestly we all know that there are some real dirtbags in the world.  I don’t like reminding everyone each week.  This one made the list because of the last line in the story.  If I gave an award for the most obvious fact to point out in a story, this one would win.  (Grayslake, IL)

Speaking of awards it is time to present the Chef Justus Award for the restaurant hero to Texas Roadhouse.  When one of their managers died they donated 10% of the sales from 23 of their restaurants to a fund for his children.  Doing it at one store is attempting to do the right thing.  Doing it at 23 stores shows a commitment that I think should be an example to other restaurant companies.  My sympathy and condolences go out to Suzanne Scull and her family.  (Royersford, NJ)

The soon to be renamed (assuming the Saratoga Springs PD can get off their butts and catch the guy) award for the restaurant jerk goes to the Leominster, MA Police Department.  They recently busted a robbery suspect by arresting him at a busy restaurant.  They did so with guns drawn which predictably unnerved the patrons.  They also in their words, “assisted Mr. Manuel Ingrassia to the ground (prone position).”  Could that $300 he stole not have warranted arresting him outside the restaurant?  I’m not trying to pick on the police here, but this seems pretty darn lazy to me.  (Leominster, PA)

Time for the scoreboard:

Scoreboard 12/4

It was a strong week for the Mid Atlantic region.  Florida single handledly carried the South Atlantic region into second this week.  At this point the South Atlantic region’s lead seems pretty insurmountable.  It is not over yet, next week I will announce a special Christmas version of weird restaurant stories that will definitely be a game changer.

This week the United States got credit for the follies of Gordon Ramsey.  It is only fair that Justin Bieber return the favor to London.  While the constant facebook postings about “Bieber Fever” from my female friends in their 30s lead me to believe they have forgotten he is a kid, he did a good job of reminding his server.  No matter where in the world you go, teenagers can be a pain to wait on.  While the owner did not fatally shoot him, I am still giving the points to the world.  USA: 8 World: 7.

That is all for this week.  Monday I will be coming back with the final part of the “don’t be that guy” countdown.  I will also be posting rule seven of the rules of serving and the final installment of the leadership series.  For those who cannot get enough of me, I will also be on The Dave Scott Show this Friday to discuss the restaurant business.  I will also be revealing a very important announcement about the future of this blog this week. Need more reason to come back to this blog?  It is one week til my birthday and anyone who visits everyday gets off the hook for buying me a present.  Don’t think I won’t come find you.


Recommended Reading 11/8


I love recycling pictures


Saturday night we had a notable guest at the restaurant.  I say notable guest rather than celebrity out of fear that many of my readers would only know her from Dancing with the Stars or Raising Hope.  The older folks out there would then facepalm remembering all of the great work she did in our childhood and before we were born.  A server, apparently not at all familiar with the etiquette in this situation, told their tables she was there.  Which lead to another server practically having to tackle a pair of guests on their way to disturb her.  In etiquette situations like this, I always look to Helena Echlin over at CHOW Magazine for the right answer.  She is the Dear Abby of restaurant etiquette in my mind and addresses this topic very well on her blog.  She has answered any number of restaurant etiquette questions and I agree with her on most all of them.

Read the full post at Tips For Improving Your Tips

Story Time: Injuries


Black silhouette guy was driving the workman's comp premiums through the roof

From the statistics I get through WordPress, I can tell that about half my traffic comes from search engines.  Which is cool and I enjoy seeing what people search for to end up at my blog.  The other half is people who came here via a link someone posted or have the page bookmarked.  For the second group, I have been trying to think of some way to make this blog more interactive.  I try to ask at the end of most posts for feedback and don’t get many takers.  The thing is that I know many of you have far more interesting takes on any number of the topics discussed in this blog.  So today I am going to try a new feature called “Story Time.”

The idea of Story Time is that everyone has a story to tell about certain topics.  They are the stories that get pulled out after work at the bar or in side stations while waiting for a table.  I have a favorite story for most of these topics.  I am sure you do too.  So just pretend that you are sitting around a high top sipping a cool beverage and tell your tale in the comments section.

Today’s topic is workplace injuries.  A coworker who hurt himself inspired it.  He looked over at me while doing his checkout and said, “You know what you oughta write about on your blog thing is getting hurt at work.”  I wasn’t sure what angle to take on that issue.  For the record I am opposed to getting hurt at work.  Please don’t do it.  If you do get hurt though could you possibly do it in a really funny way?

Read the full post at Restaurant Laughs

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