When I was a youngster, I made the fatal mistake of telling a few relatives how much I enjoyed Garfield the cat. Every holiday and birthday after that, I was inundated with Garfield books, notebooks, T-shirts, and stuffed animals. I was positive Garfield would eventually be etched onto my tombstone. My love for the grumpy, lasagna-loving, Monday-hating cat has since abated, leaving even a former Garfield fan like me flummoxed as to who the target audience would possibly be for this new venture: BlogTO proudly announces that “Toronto is getting North America’s first Garfield-themed restaurant,” a “quick mobile restaurant” called GarfieldEats.
The restaurant will apparently be focused on delivery via the GarfieldEats app, for the loungey couch-potato Garfield types among us: “The app-based ‘mobile restaurant’ is already operating in Dubai, where drivers deliver orders for free in environmentally-friendly packaging while riding on green electric Garfield scooters.” Menu items include Garfield-shaped pizza and cookies, different flavors of “Garficcino” coffees and fruit juices, and of course, lasagna. While the “quick mobile” establishment will not be the same as a ghost restaurant—there will be a physical store in Toronto—it will have mobile phones on the walls for guests to order from instead of cashiers. “You’ll also be able to play some augmented reality Garfield games while you wait for your food.”
So this enterprise appears to be going past cat-shaped food to offer an immersive Garfield experience. The busy website bills itself as “entergaging,” i.e., part entertainment, part information (why not “infotaining?”). Via the GarfieldEats app, you will be able to “watch, play, order, read, collect, redeem, track, manage, chat, share and much more” to fill that current Garfield-shaped hole in your life.
That’s lots of activity for a cat mostly known for his laziness. It’s still unclear why the GarfieldEats creators latched onto a 40-year-old cartoon character to anchor their “entergaging” “quick mobile” restaurant plan—can an online Heathcliff snack bar be far behind?