Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Restaurant news for '50 Shades' fans

Stuck on a particular scene in “50 Shades of Grey”?  Too bad, because you likely missed the real-life caning of several naughty restaurants. But there was nothing salacious about it.

Consider, for instance, the public whipping that Domino’s drew, with good reason, for advertising a new pizza crust as gluten-free. In truth, the chain admits, the dough could pick up traces of gluten since the pies are made on the same surface where conventional pizzas are prepared. Domino’s warns customers on its website that the danger of cross-contamination makes the pies suitable for persons with mild gluten sensitivity; anyone else with a gluten issue “should exercise judgment in consuming this pizza.”

There are clamps for punishing gambits like that.

At least Los Angeles’ Clifton Cafeteria didn’t stand to gain from its errant ways. Indeed, failing to turn off a light for 77 years probably cost the landmark restaurant in the neighborhood of $17,000. And no one could even see the light because the neon fixture was hidden behind a room divider. So, apparently, was the on/off switch, because no one flicked it in all that time

A crew employed by the host building’s new owner, Andrew Meiran, found the artsy neon light in a bathroom-turned-storage-area. Barring any power disruption, the neon had been burning since the second Roosevelt Administration.

Fortunately for the industry, those errors were tempered by strong reasons to give the business an attaboy. For instance, Darden Restaurants restructured its sizable corporate staff, a makeover that affected 75 positions. Efficiency was the stated reason. Yet only three positions were eliminated. In an era of buzz-saw corporate cuts, that’s worth a hurrah.

Ditto for the news that restaurants will hire 450,000 people for the summer crunch, a 1.3% hike over the seasonal employment levels of a year ago. Instead of killing time at the beach, fanning themselves while reading a borrowed copy of “50 Shades,” a significantly increased number of young people will be earning a paycheck and fueling economic growth. Three cheers for that.

Okay, now get back to the book. You won’t believe Chapter 7.

No comments: