A Philadelphia woman is going viral after sharing the “unethical” practice she discovered during what she believed was a run-of-the-mill pizza order.
The woman, who shared her story on Reddit under the name u/KendallNeff, explained on the forum that she’d recently ordered dinner from a local restaurant — in an attempt to support local businesses during the global health crisis.
At least, that’s what she thought she was doing. The Redditor placed her order through GrubHub, selecting a North Philadelphia-based spot called Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings. But when the food arrived, the woman and her husband realized something strange about their pizza — it was actually from Chuck E. Cheese.
The woman first realized something was wrong when her husband googled the name “Pasqually,” and found that the restaurant’s name was the same as that of a fictional pizza chef in the universe of Chuck E. Cheese characters.
Then, the Redditor confronted her delivery driver, who admitted he’d picked the food up from a brick-and-mortar store that also contained one of the arcade chains.
“There was a Chuck E. Cheese store but the windows had the wing restaurant on them??? I was curious to,” the driver wrote in a text message.
Finally, several eagle-eyed Reddit users stepped in with even more evidence, discovering that Pasqually’s had the same address — 9 Snyder Avenue — as a North Philadelphia Chuck E. Cheese. Other commenters shared that the places seemed to have nearly identical menus.
The reveal drew a wide-spanning reaction among Reddit users, who shared both their outrage and amusement over the situation.
“I hate that s***. This should be illegal,” one wrote.
“I will admit, Pasquallys pizza is a very convincing Philly area pizza name. This is unequivocally hilarious, albeit a little unethical,” another added.
As it turns out, Pasquallys is far from the only “restaurant” to serve another brand’s food. The Redditor’s discovery is part of a larger trend, in which restaurant owners operate “virtual kitchens” out of their already existent eateries.
The idea is simple: Restaurants with one kitchen create new brand names — and sometimes new menus — online. Delivery apps then recognize these brands as new eateries and add them to their services.
“I work for Grubhub, it’s what we call a virtual kitchen, usually used for places that want to try to have a different concept to create more income but its delivery only,” one Reddit commenter explained.
Chuck E. Cheese, for its part, has admitted that Pasquallys is part of its brand, explaining the concept in a statement to Food & Wine. CEC Entertainment Inc., which owns the pizza-arcade brand, told the outlet that Pasquallys is “only available for delivery” at the moment, but emphasized that the eatery does, in fact, serve different food.
“[The restaurant] shares kitchen space with the Chuck E. Cheese restaurant, ensuring high-quality, fresh ingredients,” the company wrote. “Pasqually’s Pizza & Wings’ recipes use fresh, homemade pizza dough, just like Chuck E. Cheese, but it is a different pizza that features a thicker crust and extra sauce, giving consumers a more flavorful, more premium pizza experience.”