NY Times Restaurant Critic Rips Tipping A New One

New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells usually saves his vitriol for eateries that don’t meet his standards, like his infamous 2012 review of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen and Bar. But Wells’ latest target is the even more controversial institution of tipping restaurant servers. [More]

Community Protests Restaurant That Kicked Out Veteran And His Service Dog

Community Protests Restaurant That Kicked Out Veteran And His Service Dog

The owner of a Massachusetts restaurant thought that he knew what service dogs look like, and the terrier in his dining room didn’t fit the profile. “It just looked like a regular mutt,” he told a reporter. Not like the guide dogs for the blind or alert dogs for the deaf that most people picture when they hear the words “service dog.” He threw the dog and his owner out of the restaurant, prompting boycotts and howls of protest. [More]

(Josh Bassett Photography)

Colorado, Florida Residents Really Love “Fast Casual” Restaurants

“Fast casual” is that vague food industry term for eateries that nicer than your typical fast food joint but aren’t really what you would consider sit-down restaurants. They’re the kind of place where you often get lunch at a counter, but the food and service are generally better [Think Chipotle or Panera]. It’s been a growth segment in an industry that’s been somewhat flat in recent years, and according to a new survey, six of the 10 most dense fast casual populations are in either Colorado or Florida. [More]


Are Food Trucks Siphoning Customers Away From Bricks-And-Mortar Restaurants?

Food trucks have soared in popularity for two very simple reasons: They allow entrepreneurial operators a relatively low-cost, small-staff way of launching a business, and they can instantly transform a food desert into a lunchtime hot spot. But are traditional eateries losing customers to this proliferation of meals-on-wheels? [More]

(Bill Binns)

Choose Your Own Dining Adventure: Eat A Tasty Burger? Or Keep Jaw Intact?

Usually while dining out, the restaurant experience lends itself to a fairly ho-hum set of decisions: Tap water or sparkling? Side salad or potatoes? But then there’s the choice of whether or not to eat a triple-decker burger or keep your jaw in the un-dislocated position. A British woman took the culinary road less traveled and decided to go for it, sans fork and knife, and had to have her jaw reset. Maybe it was all worth it, though — that one bite was “amazing.” [More]


Here’s Why You’re Probably Paying Way Too Much For A Lobster Roll

Food prices frequently fall and rise, especially for those foods that come from the ocean. But why, when the price of Maine lobster is currently below that of some chicken and beef, are consumers paying top-dollar for lobster roll sandwiches? [More]

Another Restaurant Hops On Kid-Banning Bandwagon

Another Restaurant Hops On Kid-Banning Bandwagon

We’ve told you before about restaurants that established bans on screaming youngsters, kids under 6 years of age, and anyone younger than 18. Now a Houston restaurant has decided that after 7 p.m., diners need to be at least eight years old to get in. [More]

(CBS Denver)

Restaurant Drives Away Dumpster-Diving Bear With Spike Strips

Vandals kept moving the dumpsters behind a Colorado Springs restaurant and rifling through the trash, so the owners set up surveillance cameras to catch the culprits. The vandals turned out to be a bear pushing the trash containers around and pawing through them. The restaurant decided to drive the bear away using boards spiked with nails. [More]

Bear Is In The Mood For German Food, Walks Off With Restaurant’s Dumpster

Bear Is In The Mood For German Food, Walks Off With Restaurant’s Dumpster

The German restaurant Edelweiss in Colorado Springs, Colorado isn’t a takeout place, but don’t tell that to the bear who decided that their dumpster made a suitable takeout container. A surveillance camera caught the critter pushing the trash receptacle out of frame. Being a bear, this was about as easy for her as it would be for a human to push around a fully loaded shopping cart. [More]


TGI Fridays Franchisee To Pay $500,000 For Selling Cheap Booze As Top-Shelf Stuff

Back in May, New Jersey officials undertook “Operation Swill,” raiding 29 restaurants and bars in the state — including 13 TGI Fridays locations — accusing them of misleading consumers by putting less-expensive liquor in bottles for top-shelf brands. Today, the owner of those Fridays eateries agreed to settle with the state and pay a $500,000 fine. [More]

The Tweet heard 'round the world.

Food Truck Worker: I Was Fired For Calling Out Customers Who Didn’t Tip On $170 Order

While sit-down restaurant diners customarily leave tips, gratuities are much more rare in the to-go food business. But when an eatery goes out of its way to accommodate a customer, it’s not unheard of for that customer to toss a few extra dollars in. So when a food truck worker in Manhattan saw his crew had been left without a tip on a $170 order placed by a multinational shareholder advisory service, he took his frustration to Twitter — and got fired for it. [More]

Sick Of Losing Dinner Reservations To Bots, Engineer Creates A Better Bot Of His Own

Sick Of Losing Dinner Reservations To Bots, Engineer Creates A Better Bot Of His Own

Like tickets to a Justin Bieber concert, dinner reservations at some restaurants are so desirable that people will go out of their way to insure they get a table. But while many of us just wait until the hype dies down and dine out at eateries where you don’t need a reservation, there is a war waging online to see who can create the better reservation bot to game the system and score seats as they pop up. [More]

Milling about is the natural reaction. (NBC Charlotte)

Restaurant To Customers: Sorry To Interrupt Dinner, But We’re Closing Forever… Starting Now

Customers are surely used to hearing “you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here,” but those customers are usually nursing their 11th beer at bar closing time, not in the middle of an evening meal. Diners at a Charlotte, N.C. restaurant were surprised to hear that not only would they have to leave because the joint was closing for the night — but forever. [More]

(oh, poppycock)

Restaurant Workers Claim They Were Fired By Text Message

Not having to face someone to deliver difficult news is made all the easier these days with the prevalence of smart devices. Don’t want to go to on that date? Email that you’re sick, cough cough, and no one will know the truth. Or perhaps you don’t want to tell your entire staff face to face that they’re fired — just send a text, a move restaurant workers in Florida say their boss pulled. [More]


The Argument For Abolishing Restaurant Tips

As any Consumerist reader knows, tipping is a hot-button topic, with some people arguing that they will only leave a tip when they receive excellent service, while others point out that most tipped employees — especially in restaurants — make well below minimum wage and rely on tips for survival. Then there are those who attempt to make the case that tipping should just be done away with, as it has been in most of the world. [More]

Golden Corral claims these ribs found out by the dumpster were never served.

Golden Corral: Food In Dumpster Video Wasn’t Served; Father Of Employee Tried To Sell Video To Company For $5K

As we mentioned this morning, a video showing food sitting by the dumpsters of a Golden Corral restaurant in Florida has become an Internet sensation. Now the owners of the Golden Corral franchise featured in the clip are saying that all the food shown in the video was thrown out and the manager involved was fired. The franchise owners also claim that the father of the employee in the video tried to sell the clip to the company before it went public. [More]

Golden Corral claims these ribs found out by the dumpster were never served.

Videos: Golden Corral Employee Claims His Bosses Store Food Out By Dumpsters

Buffet chain Golden Corral is feeling the heat after this holiday weekend, when a man claiming to be an employee at a GC in Florida posted a YouTube video showing food allegedly being temporarily stored by the dumpsters while the restaurant was undergoing an inspection. [More]

One of the four Deen-themed eateries to close at Caesars properties.

Four Paula Deen Buffets To Close As Caesars Entertainment Cuts Ties With Chef

The Paula Deen scandal wagon rolls on, with one of the world’s largest gaming companies parting ways with the celebrity chef on the same day as she made a tearful appearance on NBC’s Today Show. [More]