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Virtual cooking is a hit on Facebook

August 19, 2009 |  3:30 pm


Tom Byron's restaurant, Pink Castle, is shaped like a giant nouveau castle, painted cotton candy pink and topped with blue fairy-tale turrets. The inside resembles an old-fashioned diner with comfy booths, checkered floors, balloons, video games and festive salsa music on the jukebox. Its most famous dish is a Pink Burger.

Pink Castle has been such a success for Byron that he says he'd like to franchise it. On Facebook.

"I think we all have harbored ideas of starting our own restaurant because it seems easy. Until you talk to the relative who opened a restaurant and owned a restaurant and you realize: Keep it virtual," says Byron, devoted player of the 5-month-old Facebook gaming sensation Restaurant City.

Byron, 47, is one of more than 10 million monthly users of the game, and Pink Castle is one of 10 million virtual restaurants that have been opened since the game launched. Restaurant City was created by Playfish, a company that specializes in social games for platforms including Facebook, MySpace, Google and iPhone. The game is the second-most popular in Playfish's portfolio, and the fastest growing.

To read the rest of Jessica Gelt's story, click here.

Photo credit: Playfish