Chain Restaurants 16

Chipotle steps in it again

mrsdebdav | Sep 20, 201107:50 PM

ShopHouse = new Asian fusion concept brought to you by the good folks at Chipotle.

First thought: could Chipotle be so clueless as to use what sounded to me to be pidgin English? I mean, Shop/Chop. Not the least linear thought I've ever had.

Wiki calmed my fears. I am so ashamed. I must be the only person on the planet not to know about this particular architectural entity. So obvious, so perfect - who wouldn't want to name their new venture after an arcane mercantile structure apparently designed to minimize property taxes (can't really take issue with that!) while housing sometimes small and sometimes large numbers of related or not individuals.

Although the shophouses in China seem to have been, for the most part, an interesting approach to big city living, the Chophouses in Singapore were, according to Wiki, unsafe and unsanitary: "Many houses designed for only a single family would end up with ten or more families living in them. There was little or no privacy or sunlight, with poor or absent sanitation and little room to cook or prepare and eat food."

Now there's a can't miss elevator pitch.

OK, so the name is unsettling and its derivation of questionable provenance. But wait, there's more.

Here's where those of you who hate vegetarians can move along (if you haven't already). If you are not veg and for some reason feel the need to add to the extant and overflowing body of anti-veg vituperative screeds, can it. I've heard it all, I don't tell you what to eat, and I don't hate you for eating it. Let it go.

Returning to the best marketing goof since New Coke: not that long ago (a month?) a long-time patron of Chipotle found out (quite by accident, from a loose-lipped counter person) that the pinto beans he frequently ordered at lunch are made with pork.The gentleman graciously accepted the restaurant's immediate apology and applauded them for letting the public know, via Chipoltle's website and in-store menu, that the pinto beans were pig-inflected. And had always been. For years.

The denouement: the crack marketing masters chez Chipotle/ShopHouse this time consciously decided not to clutter their consumers' tiny pea brains with info such as, hey, that there's fish sauce we're hiding in your curry. No mention on the menu, no mention on the website, and just dumb luck if you hear it from your server.

I gotta ask - is there something wrong with this company? Many resto's, especially chains, put little symbols next to certain menu items to indicate spiciness, heart healthfulness, the presence of certain allergens and even, where required, calorie count.

Chipo - lemme give you a heads up. Fish aren't plants. And, while I know many SEA condiments contain fish sauce, I didn't know what a ShopHouse was. Guess I'm one of the pea brains.

Resto's are a service business. How about telling your customers what you're serving, and while you're at it, some explication for the whole slum thing wouldn't be amiss.

A shareholder (altho prob not for long - you guys and Netflix seem to be in a race to the bottom)

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