Thursday, November 08, 2007

Anti-theft tactic

How can I put this so I don’t offend?

After enough restaurant visits, even a dim-wit would notice that a place’s hot sellers tend to show up on other menus in nearly an identical form. Clearly all the establishments must’ve been struck with the same inspiration. How else would you explain why one outlet is peddling a Bloomin’ Onion while the joints up and down the street are pushing Awesome Blossoms, Onion Straws, Onion Crunches or an Onion Loaf? It’s the darnedest thing.

That’s why you have to appreciate Vicorp’s forthrightness in touting the new limited-time offers for its Village Inn and Bakers Square family-dining chains. The showcased items, it readily acknowledges, are the specialties of other restaurants. There’s the stuffed French toast from Maine’s Maples Inn and the steak dishes from Texas’ Perini Ranch Steakhouse, with other restaurants’ signatures to follow.

There’s no coyness to the effort. “We hope the association with unique, high-quality, award-wining recipes will help create a powerful new reason for guests to try our food, and to set us apart as highly innovative,” said chief executive Ken Keymer.

Presumably it’s kicking back some coin to the restaurants for the use of their dishes, a rare dash of legitimacy in an industry with more thieves than a medium-security prison.

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