With TV crews recently fueling the whole rat frenzy by filming rodent activity through storefront windows, at least one Manhattan fast-food operator has apparently adopted a strategy that might dissuade potentially restaurant-shuttering sidewalk photography.
A sign posted on the door at Popeye's at 47 West 14th Street warns:
"It is Popeyes' company policy that there will be no filming or photography on property without prior arrangement through the Popeyes Communications Department. You can move across the street to film, but I am unable to allow you to film on the property at this time."
The sign further provides contact info for company flacks.
A call to Popeye's headquarters, however, revealed on Thursday that the company has no such policy.
"We corporately have a policy that there's no filming inside the restaurant due to competitive reasons," said Popeyes spokesperson Alicia Thompson--but external shots, she added, are not prohibited.
"That is maybe something the franchisee has made a call about," Ms. Thompson said of the store's local ownership, Rooster King Corp.
A manager on duty claimed no knowledge of why the signage demanded camera-equipped spectators to "move across the street." He said the sign had been up for many months. (He declined to provide contact info for Rooster King Corp.)
"It's a public sidewalk," he said. "I'm sure you can do a lot of things on it."