The Chicago Tribune reports on the awesome new trend of restaurants’ giving diners free stuff to take home at the end of their meals (registration required).

The gifts—which range from custom spice blends to fluted rum cakes to chocolate madeleines to sourdough bread—are doled out seemingly at random. That said, seasonality and, no doubt, whatever the bakery happened to overproduce the night before play a role in selecting what gets given away.

Inasmuch as door prizes skim the extra cream off the top of the production cycle, they should be able to delight diners with very little to no additional cost to anyone involved. But when the practice starts getting out of hand, and live lobsters are being pressed into your arms as you try to quietly lumber out of the local Cheesecake Factory, you can say you read it here first.

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