In the market for a food franchise that doesn’t involve greasy burgers or $5 footlongs? Then Naples Tomato, a popular Florida restaurant, might be an appetizing choice. The award-winning eatery, known for its lasagna dishes and other pastas, is now selling franchises in the eastern U.S, with plans to eventually go national. We’ve never had the pleasure of eating there, but a New York Times food critic once raved, “never will you feast on a better lasagna.” Of course, you can’t believe anything you read in that arrogant, left-wing, elitist rag. At least, that’s what Florida resident and expert food inhaler Rush Limbaugh says. We wonder if he ever chows down at Naples Tomato? Then again, where doesn’t he chow down. But we digress. Here’s wishing Naples Tomato the best of luck as they expand their trademarked “Vine Dining” concept nationally. Vine Dining? “It’s a take-off on fine dining,” co-founder Jack Serfass explained in a recent interview. Ahh, thanks for the clarification, Jack. We’ve been listening to Rush lately and our brains have turned to mush.
Youth movement? About a month back, we wrote how franchises were lowering their standards and aggressively recruiting young kids as franchisees. If you can recite the alphabet and go potty all by yourself, you’re in. Ok, we exaggerate. But now comes word that franchising is actually attracting an elderly crowd. Research firm FRANdata found that 46 percent of all people who attend franchise tradeshows in hopes of becoming franchisees are in the 40-to-55-age bracket. The second-largest group: 55 to 70 years olds. Older Americans are getting squeezed out of the workforce, despite their vast skills and experience. It makes sense that they would want to go into business for themselves. But then again, it also makes sense that kids would want to avoid franchise tradeshows. Yawn.
Tony Montana goes Mexican. We love Taco Bell’s new Volcano Double Beef Burrito too, but not enough to kill for. A very hungry, very insane customer in Miami turned violent when Taco Bell employees refused to serve him because they were closing the store and going home for the night. After demanding food and being denied at the drive-thru window, the customer pulled into the parking lot and waited for employees to exit. He then opened fire, hitting one woman in the leg. Thankfully, no one was critically injured. In response to the incident, Taco Bell is considering changing its slogan to think outside the gun.