For the love of bacon: Plates driving people crazy
GEORGE Francisco's personalised numberplates have strangers yelling professions of love at his house.
The Sunshine Beach chef and owner of organic bacon producer Voodoo Bacon spent about $2,500 on his limited-edition "I love bacon" plates a year ago, but believes they have already paid for themselves.
"They're amazingly popular; I get chased down all the time," Mr Francisco said.
"I'll have my car parked in the driveway, and I'll hear people drive by going, 'I love bacon too!'"
"When I picked up my kids from school, all the other kids are yelling they love bacon."
The plates can send passers-by into a bacon-loving frenzy, at times to the point of danger.
"In New South Wales it almost caused accidents, because no one's ever seen them," Mr Francisco said.
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"I drove to Sydney ... people were chasing up behind me and taking photos of them while we were driving 110kmh.
"It was kind of crazy."
Bacon-themed plates are popular, as Mr Francisco discovered when he previously tried to purchase regular personalised plates.
He tried to secure "voodoo", "bacon" and plenty of spelling variations, but other bacon lovers had already snapped up anything he tried.
"Then a couple of days later, I opened up my phone on Valentine's Day, and there was a special promotion on Instagram," Mr Francisco said.
The promotion was for the "I Love" limited edition plates, which were only available in February, and Mr Francisco was quick to beat other porcine plate hunters.
"I gave it a go, tried 'I love bacon' and it popped up 'available'," he said.
He installed the plates on his Jeep Wrangler, but soon realised he had another problem as the onslaught of comments and questions began.
Tired of explaining the reason behind the plates, he had a wrap made for his car advertising Voodoo Bacon.
He said the plates had been "huge" for business, with customers lining up to buy bacon after seeing his car.
"It's a bit of an investment," Mr Francisco said.
"Because we can have them for life, the investment will probably pay off, but I reckon it already has."
He often finds photos of his car online, taken by strangers, and his son tells him he's gone "viral".
His numberplates were so unusual he was pulled over by police officers who thought they were fake.
"They thought I'd made my own plates," Mr Francisco remembered.
His bacon was saved when he remembered the "O" in bacon was actually a zero on the plates.
"They couldn't find it in their system," he said.
"Then I remembered, wait wait, it's a zero, not an O.
"Then we had a really good laugh ... the police loved bacon as well."