Offensive Name or Brilliant PR Move?

A new burger restaurant recently opened in my hometown of Waco, Texas. And when it did, it created a national sensation, including a feature on a Boston TV station. Last week I received a call from a radio program in Champaign Illinois asking for my marketing opinion about the restaurant. What caused all this national publicity? The name of the business. Some people think it’s offensive, others think it’s PR genius. Watch the video to see if you agree.

Owner Lakita Evans is receiving both national attention and criticism. Do you think she deserves it? Of course, she does. She was willing to jump out there with a business name that would both disgust and attract people at the same time. The strongest brands have both passionate evangelists and detractors. The big question about this restaurant is sustainability.

Evans’ brilliant PR move put the restaurant on the map, and the crowds have been steady, strong, and sometimes overflowing since she opened. The sustainability of the restaurant is dependent on three critical factors:

  1. The business model is sound. This means the owner of the business knows what she’s doing and can operate a profitable business.
  2. The product has value. People think that the food is worth paying for.
  3. The experience at the restaurant is remarkable.

When you create a business with a headline-stealing name, people will expect more from you than just an ordinary dining experience. They will expect more. Otherwise, all you have is a gimmick name a few moments in the spotlight.

What do you think about all this? How would you feel if this restaurant were to open near you? Are you now likely to try a PR tactic like this?


– I am intentionally not putting the name of the restaurant in this blog post. It’s a personal decision.

– The restaurant’s menu continues the theme of the business name with clever sandwich names. I’m not going to share it here. The top of the menu says “You are what you eat.” .

– I asked permission before shooting any video. The staff first asked me to contact their lawyer for permission (a burger restaurant with a lawyer?) before they realized it was just for my li’l ol’ marketing blog.

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