A word of caution to would-be franchisees: Don’t forget to tell the original owners you’re opening a new branch of their restaurant. The New York Post reports that ex-Grimaldi’s Pizzeria worker Joey Silvestri opened an illegal outpost in Shanghai last year along with two partners.

Photo: Grimaldi's
It’s not like anyone famous ever goes to the restaurant or anything. (Photo: Grimaldi’s)

Maybe they thought no one would notice that they ripped off the restaurant almost exactly, because really what are the chances someone with a camera phone would ever travel to both New York and Shanghai? And yet somehow the owners found out, possibly because some of their own staff got drafted into the new restaurant:

They claim that the copycat even poached staffers from the Dumbo location to knead dough at the China outlet, which allegedly features nearly identical menus and signage.

Grimaldi’s owners have brought a $25 million federal lawsuit against the trio who tried to pull off the restaurant equivalent of selling fake Louis Vuitton purses in China. Maybe they should have shilled the pizzas from the trunk of a car instead.

[via Gothamist]