A restaurant in Long Branch, New Jersey is facing a problem and it all stems with the name of the restaurant. Freddie’s Restaurant and Pizzeria is a family owned and operated Italian restaurant. The name is spelled similarly as the bear in Five Nights at Freddy’s is spelled, so a younger audience is calling the restaurant and asking if it is a reference to the video game, even though the restaurant has been around since 1944 according to a picture of the restaurant on Kotaku.
Calls have been coming in from various area codes not asking to order food.
For the past year, though, the restaurant has taken on an eerie feel. The phone starts ringing when school gets out, picking up the pace in time zone after time zone. On the other end, last Tuesday afternoon were children from non-Jersey Shore area codes such as 929, 276 and, multiple times, 218. They weren’t placing orders.
According to the Asbury Park Press, the confusion comes from the setting of Five Nights at Freddy’s: Freddy’s Fazbear Pizza. The calls are about whether Freddie’s Restaurant and Pizzeria is a front for Freddy’s Fazbear Pizza. It’s not just one caller calling over 20 times, it’s more. They receive thousands of thousands of calls from numbers only to ask if there was a link between the two stores, making it hard for not only the employees, but for the people calling to place orders. Employees are being shuffled around to cover the phone lines that they had to add in order to handle all of the calls coming through. Even changing the phone number hasn’t helped stopped the calls asking for the link or lack thereof between the real and fictional restaurant.
Asbury Park Press also says that Freddie’s Restaurant and Pizzeria isn’t alone in receiving those phone calls. Fast Freddie’s Pizza and Pasta in Roseville, California has received similar calls. In response to the calls, the creator of Five Nights at Freddy’s Scott Hawthon sent out an automated email saying that any number of pizza restaurants with the name Freddie in them don’t have any connections to the video game restaurant.
The New Jersey restaurant has grown accustom to the never-ending calls, adding phone lines, changing the greeting and told its employees to weed out calls from unknown area codes. Manager of Freddie’s Restaurant and Pizzeria Oscar Hernandez said that he visited other restaurants he’s worked for and the managers he’d become friends with and noticed that phones were not ringing.