STORES Magazine - June 2008 - (Page 86)

POSTSCRIPT thelastlaugh Meals on Wheels A RESTAURANT in Germany is putting a new spin on the phrase “fast food.” At Baggers restaurant in Nuremberg, food is served in pots outfitted with wheels that run along a metal track that criss-crosses the dining area. The tracks run from the kitchen upstairs, down to the tables, twisting and turning along the way. Propelled by gravity, supersonic sausages and ballistic beers wind their way to customers’ tables. The restaurant is the brainchild of local businessman Michael Mack. “I wanted to come up with a complete new restaurant system,” Mack told a reporter from BBC News, “one that would be more efficient and more comfortable.” As if meals on wheels were not novel enough, Mack has an innovative way of taking orders, too. Customers use touchscreen TVs to browse the menu and choose their meals. Once the order is received by the chef (the only aspect of this restaurant that hasn’t been automated, it seems), the food is freshly prepared. When it’s ready, the food is put in a pot, given a sticker in color to match the customer’s seat, placed on the rails and dispatched. Replacing waiters with computers and putting meals on wheels has yielded labor cost savings for Baggers — and it’s saved customers a bit, too. In a restaurant without waiters, there is no need to leave a tip. even satisfying the cravings they were likely to have later. Do Real Men Wear “Mirdles”? “SEINFELD” aficionados will remember that “The Bro” or “The Manssiere” were the names Kramer kicked around for his male undergarment concept. Turns out he may have been on to something. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that an increasing number of men are wearing a “mirdle” or man-girdle. Manufacturers don’t call them that — preferring to use euphemisms like shapewear, bodywear or support boxers. But, when you get right down to it, it’s a girdle. In January, Saks Fifth Avenue began carrying a new line from 2(X)ist featuring spandex briefs and tank tops designed to have a trimming effect. Later this year, Go Softwear, a Los Angeles underwear brand, will roll out a men’s Waist Eliminator, equipped with a waistband that extends up to mid-torso to slim a beer belly. There are other lines, too, including a boutique collection called the Flashback Butt Lifting Technology Boxer that is designed to “perk up the back side by up to an inch.” Before you shrug it off as a fad, consider this: U.S. sales of men’s underwear rose 7.8 percent between 2005 and 2007, according to NPD Group. By comparison, women’s intimate-apparel sales rose 2.3 percent over the same period. Demand and Supply © The New Yorker Collection 2004 Edward Koren from All Rights Reserved. LOCAL POLICE are not saying exactly how they were tipped off, but when customers started ordering two cheese pies and the clerk responded, “That will be $250. Please drive around,” suspicions were raised. In April, Fort Smith, Ark., police arrested a pizza parlor manager and charged him with selling marijuana out of the drive-through window. State and local investigators found six ounces of marijuana and a set of digital scales in the manager’s office. Police arrested the 28-year-old manager on a charge of possession with intent to distribute. He was later released on bail and is awaiting trial. Possible defense? He could say he thought it was oregano. Or perhaps he could adopt a customer-centric approach. After all, he was taking care of his customers – 86 STORES / JUNE 2008 WWW.STORES.ORG http://WWW.STORES.ORG

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of STORES Magazine - June 2008

STORES Magazine - June 2008
Executive Editor's Page
President's Page
Tesco Tests Carbon Labels
What Shoppers Think
10 Things You May Have Missed
Numbers Worth Counting
Full Price/Markdown
Retail People
Cover Story: Boom - or Bust
Green Retailing
Online Marketing
Building Traffic
Water Management
Digital Marketing
Loyalty Programs
Special Report: Taking on Teens
Supply Chain - Robo Crop
Human Resources
Supply Chain - Directory Assistance
Loeb Retail Letter
ARTS Update
Point of View
NRF News
Retail Crossword
Retail Industry Calendar
Last Laugh

STORES Magazine - June 2008