Let’s cut right to the quick. Here’s 9 Habits That Lead to Terrible Decisions, written for the HBR (Harvard Business Review) Blog Report by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman on September 1. No fessing up from me!
For reasons unknown—I mean, why would anyone be focused on Iraq right now?—The Atlantic reposted a piece by James Fallows, an exceptionally talented journalist, titled Blind into Baghdad. It is dated January 1, 2004, it’s very long, and it’s definitely worth reading. I fear we’re on the march again, probably for better reasons than those which were offered about a dozen years ago, and certainly on account of what we did back then. Nevertheless, the case has not been made for me, awful as ISIL/ISIS is!
I have a theory about most chain restaurants. They sell safety, the security that you will get the same thing in Dallas that you got in Dayton and Denver. I was in San Diego last week, and my theory was reinforced. The Gaslamp in downtown San Diego includes plenty of overpriced, not great independent restaurants, many of which seem to be pretty busy. Busy too, though, are Hooter and TGIF. I know what Hooters really sells and it’s not just food, and no, the chain has never gotten a dime of my money. But people going into TGIF? In downtown San Diego, these people can’t do better than Friday’s?
All of the foregoing leads up to What’s the Deal with Olive Garden?, from the New Yorker on 9/15. Written by Vauhini Vara, it’s one of several articles about an Olive Garden critique, written by a major investor in Darden Restaurants, a NYSE corporation that operates several casual/upscale dining brands. And the upshot from the investor report? The food sucks, and there’s too much of it! And at the end of the day, all else aside, restaurants need to know what they’re really selling: food!
Wrapping up, Michael Ruhlman offers an homage to what has become my favorite drink, the Beefeater Martini in The Final Cocktail Hour: Is That All There Is? And, because the martini is almost never all there is, for there’s almost always dinner and, often, dessert, I share with you my soft spot for a platter of cookies! Here from Lauren Rothman at SeriousEats.com is A Closer Look at Your Italian Bakery’s Cookie Case. So many cookies (and none of them are in pantry, thank goodness!)