A letter from Nick Nickerson, as provided by Tara Campbell
Art provided by Luke Spooner
Dear Brian Jones,
Congratulations on owning a new Hollywood Café franchise! We are proud to welcome you to the Hollywood family. We were impressed with your prior background in the restaurant business and your entrepreneurial drive, and will support you every step of the way toward your future success!
If there is one thing you should remember, it’s this: there is no such thing as “your” success without “our” success. As long as people believe in the Hollywood brand, they’ll believe in YOU! Tape this to your mirror as a daily reminder:
Your hard work + OUR brand = YOUR Hollywood Blockbuster
For your initial investment of $ 10,000 we will equip your restaurant with 1 (one) Tastee-lite™ Replicator(s) and 3 (three) celebrity cell cultures. According to our market research, ingredients sourced from the following celebrities should attract the maximum number of consumers in your area:
Danny Devito (for subs and melts)
Kathy Gifford (for salads and omelets)
David Hasselhoff (for soups and stews)
Please confirm acceptance of these selections by initialing next to each one in the enclosed franchise agreement.
As you build your restaurant, you will be given the opportunity to acquire additional celebrity cultures and expand your menu. Please do not attempt to accelerate the process by accepting samples from local celebrities. All products served at Hollywood Café franchises must be generated in our Tastee-lite™ Replicators from celebrity stock shipped directly from our distribution centers. We have a strict policy of serving our customers only A- and B-list celebrity ingredients. Any infringement of this practice misrepresents the Hollywood brand and constitutes grounds for immediate dissolution of the franchise.
Successful franchises will have the opportunity to participate in exciting promotions. We are proud to announce that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have agreed to donate tissue samples, which will be merged, replicated, and distributed in time for the “Brangelina on Rye” promotion this fall. The top 50 franchises in the U.S. will be given the opportunity to participate, and all proceeds from this sandwich will go toward combating child hunger in Uganda.
Another item worth mentioning: there is no “Skid Row Skirt Steak” on our value menu. This is not an actual Hollywood Café product, but rather an appalling falsehood taken out of context from notes allegedly “leaked” from a corporate ideation session. This “documentation” is of dubious authenticity; in any case, offering such a product would run counter to our principles. Your startup packet includes an affidavit attesting to the non-existence of the “Skid Row Skirt Steak” for any patrons or protesters who may inquire.
Once again, I wish you a warm welcome to the Hollywood Café franchise family. To get started, initial, sign, and return the enclosed franchise agreement. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact your regional coordinator.
Nick Nickerson, AA, BA, MBA
P.S. Franchise tip of the month: several owners have reported an increase in traffic after hiring cranky-but-loveable waitresses named Frances or Dorothy who tuck their pens into lopsided ponytails and cram their tickets into the order wheel with a certain je ne sais quoi.
Nick Nickerson is proud to bring the best of culinary innovation to American families, and is excited to announce that he is bringing his franchise to the U.K. In honor of his new London location, he is creating groundbreaking dishes such as Fast ‘n’ Furious Fish ‘n’ Chips, featuring Dwayne Johnson, and Sam Shepard Pie.
Tara Campbell [www.taracampbell.com] is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and an assistant fiction editor at Barrelhouse. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Litbreak, Masters Review, b(OINK), Queen Mob’s Teahouse, and Mad Scientist Journal. Her novel, TreeVolution, was released in 2016, and her collection, Circe’s Bicycle, with be published in fall 2017.
Luke Spooner, a.k.a. ‘Carrion House,’ currently lives and works in the South of England. Having recently graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a first class degree, he is now a full time illustrator for just about any project that piques his interest. Despite regular forays into children’s books and fairy tales, his true love lies in anything macabre, melancholy, or dark in nature and essence. He believes that the job of putting someone else’s words into a visual form, to accompany and support their text, is a massive responsibility, as well as being something he truly treasures. You can visit his web site at www.carrionhouse.com.
“Hollywood Cafe” originally appeared in Punchnel’s in July 2013.
“Hollywood Cafe” is Copyright 2013 Tara Campbell
Art accompanying story is Copyright 2018 Luke Spooner