When it comes to dining trends, the Twilight franchise is an unlikely inspiration, what with its focus on drinking blood and otherwise looking wan, anemic, and underfed (albeit with killer hair). But then, this thing is the rabid, foaming Patient Zero for all trends these days, raking in a ridiculous $771.5 million annually . Everything the stars touch turns to gold--they're like young Midases, covered in Noxema and pomade.
So of course the restaurant world is getting in on it! You think food merchandisers are going to miss a chance to exploit Robert Pattinson's dreamy gaze to sell hamburgers? Crazy talk. From a Burger King promotion to upstart theme restaurants, people across the country will be able to digest the vampire mania on New Moon's opening weekend. And that includes you.
1) Burger King: The leader of the oh-my-god-how-do-we-capitalize-on-this-NOW movement, Burger King is now offering a special six pack of mini "burger shots" (a.k.a depraved sliders), served with a custom Twilight-branded box, a special BK crown, and a side of collector's cards. Of course, the burgers aren't good (Slashfood reports, "the product inside falls flatter than Taylor Lautner's abs in "New Moon"), but who cares? The true goal is to slam back enough beef shots to earn the coveted "Edward" gift certificate ($10 at Hot Topic) or the rare free T-shirt. It may not seem worth sacrificing your digestive health for swag, but Bella was willing to sacrifice her life for Edward. Put things in perspective.
2) Movie Tavern Grill : This in-theater restaurant chain has locations in Texas, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia, all employing the same classy concept--waiters deliver burgers, pizza, fries, margs, and beer to moviegoers' seats during a film. Luxury! The chain's midnight showings of New Moon sold out, and this Sunday, Twi-hards will have the chance to donate blood outside the theaters before the show. Save a life, order some hot wings. Being part of the movement is just that easy.
3) Volterra: Fork, Washington entrepreneurs Tim and Annette Root are opening a "steak and seafood" joint next year to accommodate the over 67,000 tourists who have flocked to the small town on part of their Bella Swan peregrination. It's actually not a bad idea, given the fact that Twilight fans will buy just about anything, and they have to eat sometime. The Root family already owns the "Dazzled by Twilight" store in town, and plans to name the restaurant after an Italian town mentioned in the book series. Unfortunately, a Seattle eatery of the same name is asking them to back down, but the Roots have the upper hand here. Twilight is the new city hall, and it simply can't be fought.
4) NECCO: The New England Confectionary Co. has been making the same, chalky conversation hearts for years, but they are upping their Valentine's game this season with a Twi-branded version. The messages will include "Soul Mate," "Dazzle," and naturally, "Bite Me." And because everything's better in vampire country, NECCO is even introducing new flavors for the hearts, from Orange Obsession to Tempting Apple. Though not officially out until March, a superfan got her hands on a box and wasted no time in making a video about it.
5) Vitamin Water: And then, there's this.
Go forth and suck some blood.