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Gender Reveal Lasagna? Villa Italian Kitchen Goes Pink or Blue


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It’s a boy! for this expectant couple, which they learned after digging into Villa Italian Kitchen’s new Gender Reveal Lasagna.

You’ve heard about parties where baby’s gender is revealed with a pink or blue cake hidden underneath the frosting. Villa Italian Kitchen has gone one better—or weirder, depending on your point of view. 

“We were brainstorming about what events would bring families together and Voila! We came up with gender reveal lasagna!” says Stephanie Beamer, division VP of franchise and catering for Villa Restaurant Group. 

Asked if she thought she’d ever utter a phrase like that, she laughed. “You know never, ever, ever.”

Villa Italian Kitchen wanted a way to launch the latest “amped-up” version of their eight-year-old catering service, and held a brainstorming session or two to come up with ideas. “We were talking about hospitality, our family,” she says. “I have nieces, they do these gender reveal parties. One of my nieces did blue fireworks. There are so many weird things out there,” and they thought their cheese lasagna would be the perfect vehicle.

Starting last August the team began experimenting. “We use fresh ingredients. We were thinking, how could we get it this blue and pink so it was obvious?” They discovered a big dose of food coloring did the trick. How much do they have to use? “You’d be surprised, it’s not as much as you think,”she says. 

The Gender Reveal Lasagna Catering Package features one cheese lasagna with a secret pink or blue interior, a tray of garlic rolls and a choice of salad for $139.99. Guests who film their reaction to the big reveal and share a video of the surprise on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #LasagnaReveal will be entered to win a quarterly catering giveaway. And one lucky pair of new parents will have their first week home from the hospital catered by their local Villa Italian Kitchen, the press release says.

As for the impact of the launch, it’s all been a blast. “We've had a lot of fun with the comments on the internet and the social media. People are definitely putting out their opinions, especially on Twitter,” she says.

My colleague Nick Upton at Franchise Times may have said it best: “OMG, I’d be so annoyed if I wound up at this party thinking I’m gonna eat some delicious food and they hand me blue lasagna. Garfield is rolling over in his grave.”

When told about his comment, Beamer laughed. “How funny, how cute. Yes he would, yes he would,” she agreed about Garfield.

She believes Villa Italian Kitchen’s “first-ever gender reveal lasagna” is a hit and a fit. “I think our brand is fun and quirky. This goes along with who we are,” she says. “We wanted to find a way to celebrate such a momentous occasion with them. We can’t wait to see all the videos of guests revealing their babies’genders to family and friends in such a unique way.”

 

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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