Practical Pastiche: Fast Food
“Practical Pastiche” is a series I expand on from time to time, offering drop-in names you can use in your home ttRPG campaigns to replace real-world organizations, places, groups, and anything else you might want to use in a fictional world without the baggage of using real-world elements.
FAST FOOD Whether you need some made-up restaurants to namedrop in your supers game, a character’s job at the local coffee house is a running joke, or you plan for a desperate battle for survival against zombie assassins at the burger joint, sometimes it’s nice to be able to use companies in your games without them being weighed down with any real-world corporate behavior.
Backgammon Pizza: A delivery-only pizza place (no dine-in options at 90% of their stores) that has fast-food American versions of pizzas, subs, pizza pockets, pasta, boneless wings, salads, personal hot cupcakes, and “Crazi Knots Garlic and Cheese Rolls.” Famous for their “Still Hot or All Free” campaign (which was launched when they could give every delivery driver a cheap handheld infrared thermometer), Backgammon Pizza is rarely anyone’s favorite choice, but it’s often no-one’s least favorite choice either.
Burger Ranch: A major worldwide burger-based, ranch-themed fast food company. Best known for the Rancher (a 1/3 lb. ranch-dressing cheeseburger), the Double Rancher, and, since 2002, the Tripple Rancher. Has a fairly standard fare of burgers, fried and grilled chicken sandwiches, fried fish sandwiches, fries, onion rings, and so on. Had a decades-long ad campaign that included the phrase “You’ll Enjoy Our Brand,” followed by a cattle branding iron searing the ‘BR’ logo into the side of a cup of soda.
Fuse-Asian: When several racist-themed Chinese and Japanese cuisine restaurants went out of business, the Fuse-Asian Corporation was created to buy them up and rebrand them as a chain of drive-through Americanized “fusion Asian” food. The menu is mostly Chinese-focused, with Japanese influences largely restricted to sushi.
Kno-Y Chicken: Apparently built entirely on the phrase “Know Why? Chicken Thigh!,” “KYC” is a popular drive-through and dine-in chicken restaurant that claims their secret to success is using chicken thighs where other places use breast meat. It focuses on fried chicken and chicken tenders, but branched out into baked chicken and wings when those because popular in the mainstream. Also famously have “burger nuggets,” tiny ground-beef-in-a-cheese-knot snacks sold in packs of 6, 10, and 20, which are generally thought of as stuffed micro-sliders and were launched in the 1990s under the famous “Hey, fair is fair!” ad campaign.
Menu-Inn: In the 1950s, every Motorin’ Motor-Inn had a 24 hour “Menu-Inn” restaurant. The Motorin’ brand went bankrupt in the early 1990s, but Menu-Inn has survived as a late-night sit-down restaurant, especially near universities and factories or mines with shifts covering all 24-hour. Its food is road-travel-themed, such as the Interstate Platter, Turnpike Combos, Rest Stop Drink Station, and (famously) “Regular,” “Leaded,” and “Unleaded” coffee.
Ringmaster’s: A circus-themed fast food chain famous for Circus Meal Deals, franchises, fries, ice cream machines that almost never work, and “Playring” in-store mini-playgrounds.
Pueblo de Tacos: A very Tex-Mex Americanized style of taco, but generally considered a significant step up from Taco Tavern.
Secret HQ Pizza and Pasta: Mostly a dine-in establishment, with limited levels of delivery available in various markets. “SHQ” started life in the late 1940s as a tiny mom-and-pop restaurant in a college town that had a real stone pizza oven, and two incredibly cheap options – the “Peanut Pocket” hot peanut-butter pizza-sandwich (jelly optional) and Peanut Pasta (essentially Pad Thai but with Italian noodles), which college kids loved. It’s since gone corporate, though never a franchise, and while most of its food is typical, there remains a “secret” menu (which is easily found online) that includes peanut butter as a topping option, and the Peanut Pocket and Peanut Pasta as things you can order.
Taco Tavern: Open “23 Hours A Day” (literally every store is closed from 4 to 5 am), Taco Tavern specializes in cheap tacos that supposedly can help prevent hangovers… but also famously may force a run to the restroom. Often make up new foods with weird pseudo-Mexican sounding names, like Enchaloopas or Torflandos. Also often offers custom flavors of Pepfül Soda and Cherry Bomm.
Tim Duncan’s Donuts: Considered the best coffee-and-donut place by its fans. Also serves a range of breakfast items, often 24 hours a day. No delivery offered by the stores, but food delivery services often make a big deal of being able to get you your Tim Duncan’s Fix.
Waffle Stop: A 24-hour breakfast-and-burgers eat-at-the bar holdover of the diner business plan, Waffle Stop is a big rough-and-ready, but also is prepared to pitch in for nearly any local or community disaster. A LOT of Waffle Stops are franchises owned by people who have an adjacent gas station and repair garage, which is always officially a different business.
Patreon Cafe: No, not a fictional restaurant. This is just a disguised pitch for you to support the creation of these blogs by joining my Patreon for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a month.