Tea-For-Two And Kids-Eat-Free

It's the summer season for twofer deals and "complimentary" dishes

Some eateries can play off their names. Instead of the glass of wine (with purchase of dinner entrée) that Citronelle in Miami is currently offering, why not stock up on citronella candles and give them out as door prizes? Located almost right across the street, Magnum Lounge can get a light from the same wick and raffle off magnums of wine to lucky diners. The Mangos in Fort Lauderdale and Mango's in South Beach (unrelated restaurants) can be obvious about their giveaways, as can places like Bongo's Cuban Café in downtown Miami. A jewel in a bag of fries? It'd be like happy meals for the girl who needs a best friend. And any restaurant at all can hand out the booby prize of a cold turkey to anybody who ignorantly asks for an ashtray.

At the very least, chefs and restaurateurs can stop paying lip service to how much they really enjoy working with each other and admire their colleagues and embrace their competition and blah-blah-blech. You're a chef who truly feels the pull of community and industry? Team up and make a deal: Along with a check, instead of mints, serve your customers with a coupon for an appetizer or dessert at a rival eatery, and have that establishment return the compliment in kind. Now that's what I would call incentive -- for everyone involved.

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