(Alan Rappa)

California Pizza Kitchen Manager Starts Chain Of Kindness That Extends To Corporate

When a family with four kids stopped off to eat at California Pizza Kitchen, disaster was looming. Their 13-year-old son, who has autism, was upset and on the verge of a meltdown in the middle of a crowded restaurant on Valentine’s Day. As the mother dreaded what would happen next, the manager came to her rescue, treating the family as if nothing were out of the ordinary. [More]

Let’s Play “Guess Why This Person Broke Into Restaurant While Wearing A Box On Their Head”

Let’s Play “Guess Why This Person Broke Into Restaurant While Wearing A Box On Their Head”

While it’s not exactly a case for Adrian Monk (or even Encyclopedia Brown), police in Bismarck, ND, do have a puzzler of a crime on their hands after someone broke into a restaurant after hours and appears to have done nothing but walked around the place with a cardboard box covering his/her head. [More]

Restaurant Allows Customer To Bring In Big Gulp, Then Shames Her About It Online

Restaurant Allows Customer To Bring In Big Gulp, Then Shames Her About It Online

You might think it crass or crude to bring a 7-Eleven Big Gulp into a fine-dining establishment, but if a restaurant lets you have that huge cup o’ soda at your table, do they then have any standing to call you out publicly? [More]

After Being Called Out Publicly, Joe’s Crab Shack Says It Should Be 100% Trans Fat-Free This Summer

After Being Called Out Publicly, Joe’s Crab Shack Says It Should Be 100% Trans Fat-Free This Summer

Yesterday, restaurant chain Joe’s Crab Shack was called out by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for continuing to use margarine with a high level of trans fat, in spite of claims made on the eatery’s menu that Joe’s doesn’t use the controversial oils. In response, the company says it plans to get rid of this last bit of trans fat in the coming months. [More]

Health Advocates Say Joe’s Crab Shack Is Breaking Its “No Trans Fat” Promise

Health Advocates Say Joe’s Crab Shack Is Breaking Its “No Trans Fat” Promise

Seven years ago, the new owners of the 130-location Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant chain promised to completely stop using controversial artificial trans fats in the cooking of its menu items. But the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest say Joe’s is breaking this promise by serving up heaps of trans fat-heavy margarine on some dishes. [More]

Are You OK With A Restaurant Googling You If It Improves Customer Service?

(Michelle Rick)

If you apply for a job, you can rest assured that someone will Google your name or look you up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and elsewhere before hiring you. If you meet someone via an online dating service, he or she has probably (and wisely) made repeated efforts to look you up on publicly available social media sources in order to make sure you’re not a suspected serial killer. But when you make a reservation at a restaurant, you probably don’t expect anyone there to do any research about you. [More]

Teenagers Turning Restaurants Into The Cool New Hangout Spots As Malls Die Off

Teenagers Turning Restaurants Into The Cool New Hangout Spots As Malls Die Off

A word to any Hollywood screenwriters working on a scene where old cops go back to high school disguised as implausibly believable students — put those characters at a mall and real teenagers will know you don’t know what’s cool these days. Namely, malls are out, and restaurants are in as the new spot to hangout. [More]

Under that egg and other stuff is apparently a grilled cheese sandwich.

What’s In A $100 Grilled Cheese Sandwich?

I have a hard time justifying paying $3.50 to my corner deli for a grilled cheese sandwich when I’ve got all the makings of the comfort food classic in my fridge. So I’m having some difficulty imagining what it would take to get me to fork over $100 (plus tax and tip, etc.) for any sandwich, let alone a grilled cheese. [More]

At The Melting Pot, Kids Eat Free For $15

At The Melting Pot, Kids Eat Free For $15

At Erica’s local Melting Pot, they have what sounds like a super fun event, a Little Chefs dinner where kids can cook macaroni and cheese fondue and a chocolate dessert fondue, while wearing chef hats and learning the magical ways of cheese and chocolate. That sounds fun…but Erica received an e-mail from the restaurant that made this all seem very confusing. [More]

(Louis Abate )

10 Meaty Secrets Of The Steakhouse

Steakhouses are one category of restaurants that are experiencing a boom right now. That’s great news if you like classic meat, potato, and booze meals, but there are some secrets that come along with that boom that no one is necessarily telling their customers. [More]

(afagen)

White House Calls For Raising Minimum Wage For Tipped Workers

While the federal minimum wage for hourly workers has increased from $4.25/hour in 1991 to the present level of $7.25, the minimum wage for workers earning tips has remained at $2.13, meaning tipped workers have had to increasingly rely on tips because their base wage has not kept up with the rest of the workforce. This morning, the White House made the case that it’s time for tipped workers to get a pay raise. [More]

Pastor’s Website Lets Waiters Vent About Skimpy Tips On After-Church Meals

Pastor’s Website Lets Waiters Vent About Skimpy Tips On After-Church Meals

Following last year’s firing of an Applebee’s waitress who dared to post a receipt from a cheapskate customer claiming to be a pastor who gives “10% to God” and thus shouldn’t be required to pay the 18% tip mandated for large parties, a real pastor at a church in Tennessee decided to create a website to remind churchgoers that they shouldn’t stiff their restaurant servers. [More]

Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Suggests “Crowdsourced Expertise” Over Generic Yelp Reviews

Travel Channel’s Andrew Zimmern Suggests “Crowdsourced Expertise” Over Generic Yelp Reviews

Andrew Zimmern, chef and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, has never held back his feelings about crowdsourced review site Yelp, once calling it a “tremendous forum for a bunch of uninformed morons to take down restaurants.” It’s all well and good to slam the site, but what are people to do when they’re looking for insight on where to eat? [More]

(YouTube)

This Is What It Looks Like When A Wave Crashes Through A Restaurant’s Window During Breakfast

There are a lot of things one would reasonably expect to happen in the course of a normal breakfast — bacon, toast, coffee, a sense of satiation after a night of growing hungry in your sleep. But a ginormous wave crashing through the window of a restaurant? Not so expected. [More]

Così Franchisee Bets TV Reporter $10,000 Restaurant Will Stay Mouse-Free

Così Franchisee Bets TV Reporter $10,000 Restaurant Will Stay Mouse-Free

A franchise of the sandwichery Così in Washington, D.C. was closed down yesterday due to a failed health inspection. What were the restaurant’s violations? Meats stored at unacceptable temperatures, improperly labeled food, food preparation surfaces not clean or sanitized, and mice. So many mouse droppings. [More]

How Technology & The Power Of Suggestion Are Getting People To Leave Higher Tips

How Technology & The Power Of Suggestion Are Getting People To Leave Higher Tips

Most American restaurant-goers are used to writing a tip on the receipt after they enjoy a sit-down meal, but with a growing number of eateries — like food trucks and pop-up restaurants — that straddle the line between traditional dining and fast food, it’s unclear whether customers are expected to leave a tip or just be on their merry way. That’s why some new payment systems include an extra step to put the idea of tipping in the consumer’s mind. [More]

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

3 Tips To Writing A Yelp Restaurant Review That Is Worth A Read

As helpful as crowdsourced review sites like Yelp can be, not every write-up is of use to a consumer trying to figure out whether a restaurant is worth the trip. Sometimes it’s because the review is too vague (“The menu wasn’t amazing” is one I come across too often). Other times it’s too specific (“The napkins didn’t match the table cloths! Never going back!”). And many reviewers tend to let their emotions get the best of them, giving slightly subpar meals a single star or throwing a restaurant a 5-star rating without really thinking about what that score implies. [More]

Famous Philly Eatery To Pay $8.5 Million For Short-Changing Servers’ Tips

Famous Philly Eatery To Pay $8.5 Million For Short-Changing Servers’ Tips

More than 1,200 current and former employees of a well-known bar/restaurant chain in Philadelphia are going to share in an $8.5 million settlement over allegations that the eatery’s owner illegally demanded servers’ tips and also failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to tipped employees. [More]