KeVen Parker's plans to expand his Ms. Tootsie's restaurant brand through franchising, disclosed in today's Philadelphia Daily News, won't earn him any points in the competition to succeed Delilah's at the Reading Terminal Market.
Parker's South Street soul food operation is among the four contenders to fill the space Delilah was forced to vacate last spring when her business went bankrupt. In late August the four took shifts in the market kitchen at La Cucina to serve their food to RTM board members and staff. The board is expected to make a decision at its late September regular meeting.
Although the market tolerates the few vendors who have operated a limited number of other outside venues (the owner of Downtown cheese used to operate a shop at the Ardmore Farmers' Market, and Delilah at one time had three or four operations going at the same time), it doesn't condone franchising. Though Parker's proposed RTM stall would be his own, rather than franchised, if the brand is franchised that might put his chances to gain space at the RTM at risk.
Right now, though, it's only conjecture, since Parker's plan to franchise Ms. Tootsie's is only that, a plan.
According to PDN columnist Jenice Armstrong's article today, Parker is "looking to franchise the Ms. Tootsie's restaurant and KDP Lifestyle store and
Luxury Suites brand next year in Los Angeles, Atlanta and Washington."