January 7th, 2011


Boring Food Companies

When Heston Blumenthal announced that his new London restaurant featuring historically-themed British meals would be called Dinner, it was clever. It just treads the line between simplicity, humor, and the trendiness of the one-word restaurant name.

Clever is a matter of perspective. Other people may think "Dinner" as dull as I think a raft of other recent or incipient arrivals on the restaurant scene. Frankly, I'm half-impressed that I managed to remember them long enough to write about them. So here is the latest in food trends - not that I expect you to remember it.
  • The Burger Company is the ultra-bland title of the motorway services eatery which is operated by motorway services company Roadchef. They replaced their Wimpy outlets with it. Clearly, the name was chosen by a committee.
    Further news: Roadchef is replacing the rest of its Wimpys with McDonalds. Surely its own-brand Burger Company must be just filling in until the big-name brand replaces them.

  • Steak & Co. is the ridiculous name of the mass-market steak house which opened in approximately early November on Charing Cross Road, right by Leicester Square, on the site of what was previously a Gourmet Burger Kitchen. Initial reviews sound decent, even if the name is dull.

  • I can see how "Next" works as a clothing company name - I've had years to acclimatize to it. But as a restaurant name? I'm not convinced, even if the Chicago project is an innovative one from one of my very favorite chefs. (It didn't actually open in 2010, contrary to expectations back when that article was written.)

I rather liked the wit, elegance, and weirdness of one-word restaurant names. I just hope not many more succumb to downright dull and easily-confused ones.