Monday, April 13, 2009

What you won't read in the papers

Last week delivered a few indications the restaurant industry may be entering a recovery. Relief couldn't come too soon, given how the trade appears to be one moon howl away from snapping. A bunch of places have even forgotten they're supposed to charge for food instead of doling it out for a reminder of what customers look like.

In all the craziness, some urban myths have clearly taken hold. Here, as a public service, is a delineation of fact and fiction:

  • There’s absolutely no truth to reports that T.G.I. Friday’s is giving away a restaurant franchise with every appetizer ordered this week. You have to buy an entrée, too, though they’re down to $1.

  • Michelle Obama has not challenged Alice Waters to go hoe-to-hoe over who has the best organic string beans. Nor will Bo the Dog be trained to bite Waters in the onions. Or not as long as she shuts up about a First Garden.

  • It’s a complete myth that restaurants’ latest promotion is giving customers the keys and asking them to lock up when they’re done gorging for free. Denny’s, however, declined to comment.

  • Tao, pegged by Restaurants & Institutions as having sales in excess of $68 million a year, is not buying General Motors to replace valet parking with a car giveaway program.

  • Steve Wynn is not relocating the state of Rhode Island into his restaurant-studded Encore casino as an entertainment feature. However, the governor of Maryland commented that he’s constitutionally obliged to do what’s financially best for constituents.

  • Gordon Ramsay has not been serially watching “The Wrestler” in hopes of aping Mickey Rourke’s career comeback.

  • Police discount reports that hundreds of seders were wrecked when college-aged participants insisted that Chipotle’s Steve Ells is really the prophet Elijah. They also wanted to know where the bitter herbs had been grown.

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