I remember driving by a corner restaurant on the outskirts of a good-size city in Pennsylvania one summer vacation; it was called Deli Lama. At the time, it was too late for breakfast and too early for lunch, so I didn’t get a chance to see if the menu was as creative as its name.
Delis are pretty scarce in Kansas City. Our badass barbeque joints ran ‘em out of town before their owners could nurture an addiction for pastrami on dark rye. With a couple of exceptions, we’re stuck with restaurant chains that practice portion control and branding strategy over menu choices.
The Schlotzsky chain is an example. Recently, the company tweaked its restaurant model to broaden their appeal.
Out went the faux old world look and in came vibrant colors, bold wall graphics and zingy signage.
The chairs are taller, wifi is abundant and everything is just lotz fresher and lotz tastier. The restrooms are easy to find down a hallway; the sign on one door says, Shapely Bunz and on the other — Manly Bunz.
That’s when I thought, Are these people out of their minds?