It’s not a good time to be a pizzeria with “Fred’ anywhere in your name.
The Asbury Park (N.J.) Press reports that poor Freddie’s Restaurant and Pizzeria of Long Branch, N.J. has been beset by unserious phone calls inquiring about Five Nights at Freddy’s, the horror-game series set in a children’s-themed pizzeria. They come at all hours, from coast to coast.
Oscar Hernandez, the manager of real-life Freddie’s, says one number is responsible for hundreds of calls. Its area code is nowhere close to New Jersey.
The answer isn’t as simple as changing the business’s name or phone number. “Think about how much business would be lost,” a representative with the state’s restaurant and hospitality association told The Press. “All of the sudden you change the number and people think you’re out of business.” It should be noted that Freddie’s Restaurant goes back to 1944,
Hernandez isn’t oblivious to the phenomenon. He’s played or at least knows what Five Nights at Freddy’s is and why it’s popular with kids who have cell phones. “Imagine Chuck (E. Cheese) loses his mind,” he said.
His only hope is that the fad passes, like it ultimately did for the unlucky souls whose phone number was 867-5309 in 1981.