Restaurateurs are trying to snag attention for their newest ventures by christening the places with names that have all the subtlety of a sledgehammer. There’s no mistaking what’s for sale at Cold Beer & Cheeseburgers in Scottsdale, Ariz. Ditto for Burger & Lobster in New York City, where you can choose either a burger or a lobster, $20 for either. It’s one of 15 branches in the 15-unit, London-concentrated international chain.
Try to guess the specialty of OatMeals, a cafe in New York City. Here’s a hint: It’s a venture of Quaker Oats, king of the hot-cereal market.
If the answer eludes you, take a stab at pinpointing the specialty of Breads Bakery in NYC.
It would compete for share of stomach with a pizza concept called Your Pie.
Clearly we’ve come a long way from the early days of casual dining, when names of the week figured large in entrants’ names (TGI Fridays, Ruby Tuesday), or the more recent reliance on web shorthand (PDQ, WTF and one of our staff’s favorite, OMG).
We’ve lived through a gazillion concepts named after the founder, from Famous Dave’s to McDonald’s, Tony Roma’s, Denny’s (actually named after the founder’s neighbor), Winchell’s and Taco Bell (founded by Glen Bell, who studied at the grill of the McDonald’s brothers).
Now, it seems, the more focused the name can be on the menu, the better.
Seen other examples of plain-as-day naming? Let us know. Drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.