America's Worst Chain Restaurant Names
October 22, 2014
These are really the best names they could come up with?
America's Worst Chain Restaurant Names
While some restaurant owners have mastered the art of restaurant-naming, others probably could have used a little help in that department. These are America’s most poorly named chain restaurants.
Wikimedia Commons/ Michael Riviera
First of all, Beef O’Brady’s concept? A “family sports pub.” While that may be oxymoronic, the name is just moronic. It would get a pass if it was founded by someone named Beef O’Brady (in fact, he would have been obligated to open a restaurant in that case), but the founder’s name was Jim Mellody. There’s no excuse for a name this bad.
Wikimedia Commons/ Minnaert
Reportedly based on a nickname founder Bob Wian gave to a local kid, the Big Boy came to not only be the name of its mascot but also of its signature burger. Yes, the burger and the mascot may both be “big boys,” but that doesn’t excuse the name, which is made even worse by the regional addition of “Bob’s,” “Shoney’s,” and “Frisch’s” to the beginning.
Wikimedia Commons/ Hisgett
Yes, the burger itself may be fat, and the name certainly lets customers know that, but seriously, is there a restaurant name less appealing that Fatburger? Originally called Mr. Fatburger (apparently a reference to founder Lovey Yancie's boyfriend at the time) when it was founded in 1947, it dropped the honorific five years later. We’re not sure which variation is worse. Hey, at least it doesn’t have any pretenses to being healthy.
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Let’s just say that this name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. The name is understandable once you learn the backstory (It was originally a New Orleans restaurant called Chris Steakhouse, and when Ruth Fertel purchased it in 1965 she tacked her name to the front of it), but that doesn’t make the name any more graceful.
Wikimedia Commons/ Nightscream
With a name inspired by a famous Saturday Night Live sketch, this chain, founded in Florida in 1986, attempts at humor but just comes across as tacky. It’s hard to take a restaurant named Cheeburger Cheeburger seriously, SNL reference or not.
Wikimedia Commons/ Jo Hallett
Also created by Fuddruckers founder Philip Romano, this chain simply fails in the name department for several reasons. One, the name is childish and bland. Two, it sounds like it should be the name of a kid-oriented pizza chain when it’s in fact the name of a chain of high-end gourmet markets and restaurants, specializing in breads, cakes, wine, and cheese. Three, there’s simply no reason to stick a capital Z right in the middle of it.
Wikimedia Commons/ Richard
The name of this Pennsylvania-based chain, best known for its smiley-face cookies, is just confusing. Are you supposed to eat and then park your car? Or is it short for “eating park,” sort of like a biergarten for food? Neither, apparently, as it originally was founded as a drive-in serviced by carhops. Like the “hit and run” play in baseball, improperly named because the baserunner starts running before the batter makes contact, nitpickers will forever be bothered by the fact that it’s not Park’n Eat.
This casual dining chain was founded in South Carolina in 1988 and until 2011 was known as Fatz Café, also an abysmal name. Like Big Boy and Fatburger before it, this chain seems to think that subtly (or not so subtly) implying that its fare isn’t for those who are on a diet, or give a lick about their weight, is a good thing. And that Z on the end? Gimme a break.
Taking a page from the Fuddruckers School of Gibberish, Schlotzsky’s even hypes up its wackadoodle name with slogans like “Funny name, serious sandwich.” A sandwich chain founded by Don and Dolores Dissman in 1971, Schlotzsky’s name isn’t catchy, it doesn’t imply what’s for sale, and it certainly doesn’t roll off the tongue. Heck, it’s even hard to spell. All it is is silly, and for that we award it zero points.
Just about everything about this chain makes us say “Ugh.” First of all, it’s a “breastaurant,” where the female servers (“Kilt Girls”) wear “mini-kilts” and plaid bras. And second, they’ve been sued for sexual harassment – by a group of 19 former employees! As for the name, it has that vaguely sexual connotation that’s completely meaningless yet trying hard to be raunchy, and failing miserably.
The name of this sandwich chain, founded in Dallas in 2003, actually makes a lot of sense: customers are given a sandwich bag with all the different options, and they select what they want from a host of different categories. But, seriously? Which Wich? It’s a play on words that only four years olds would find funny.