Friday 15th October 2004 17:04
If you like it so much, you can buy the company
An Australian hotelier has come up with an ingenious way of simultaneously dealing with complaints and promoting the sale of his hotel. A message at the bottom of menus at the Imperial hotel in York, Western Australia, reads: "Our staff have given up their weekends to work, in an effort to try and make your weekend as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. We apologise if delays occur or mistakes are made. Please respect the persons involved. Applications for waiting positions should be made with speed to the manager, and if you think you can run this hotel better than I can, please address your cheque for $200,000 for a 20-year lease, or $1.2m for the freehold, to the owner, Kevin Lawless, and I wish you the best of luck."
Bent on raising their public popularity
A conceptual artist plonked a gigantic pile of bananas in London's Trafalgar Square last Tuesday. The bananas were donated by the Banana Group, an organisation dedicated to raising the profile of Britain's most popular fruit. From 3pm, anyone could walk past and help themselves to the yellow mound. New York artist Doug Fishbone said the work was a sculpture in reverse - and, as the bananas were taken away, the work of art slowly vanished.
Campaign journalists will take either - on a skewer
As the US presidential campaign heats up, the menu at a Washington restaurant has taken on a political flavour. Until the 2 November election, diners at Charlie Palmer Steak on Capitol Hill can vote a straight party line with gazpacho, hanger steak and lime curd (that's the Bush menu) or clams with cucumber "linguine", filo-wrapped cod and Boston cream pie (the Kerry bill of fare). Chef Bryan Voltaggio said: "I was lucky, from a creative point of view. The opponents come from two very different regions." So which menu is selling better? Voltaggio diplomatically dodged the question, adding that diners could mix and match dishes from the two menus. OK, so which menu would he vote for? "I like the South-western flavours from the Bush menu," he said, "but I'm also partial to seafood." Talk about sitting on the fence...