Hooters vs. Twin Peaks — Boobie-Food War Escalates

If restaurants like Hooters have taught us anything, it’s that great things come in pairs; wings and a ball game, great service and a smile, and of course, lawsuits and alleged corporate espionage.

The lawsuit hit Georgia Federal Court this week where a former Hooters VP and current Chief Operations Officer of La Cima Restaurants — the franchisee company of Hooters competitor Twin Peaks — Joseph Hummel is being sued under allegations that he took “sensitive business information” when he defected to La Cima. That information, according to the lawsuit, included plans related to management, distribution of sales and recruitment.  If that weren’t enough, Hummel’s departure also coincided with several other high-ranking Hooters executives’ withdrawal from the company according to the lawsuit.

The coincidences don’t stop there either. Both Hooters and Twin Peaks seem to share a lot in common. Both feature a scantly-clad all-women wait staff serving up delicious comfort food underneath massive hi-def TV’s that exclusively broadcast sporting events. But according to a statement by Twin Peaks co-founder and CEO Randy DeWitt released earlier today, he claims that the lawsuit is “frivolous and baseless.”

The entire rebuttal comes off as confident, full of subtle jabs and not-so-subtle ones at that.

Finally, some reports have left the impression that Joe Hummel was involved in the development of Twin Peaks. Scott Gordon and I founded Twin Peaks in 2005. Joe was not a founder. Scott and I have never worked for Hooters and only went there a few times as customers. We did not think the food was very good and the brand was stuck in the 1980’s, but not in a cool retro way. The fact that they employ an attractive all-female service staff is hardly a secret.Randy DeWitt / CEO of Twin Peaks

Seems like as much as Hooters loves serving up things in twos, this is one pair the company simply won’t abide.


Former NBA Player Sues Restaurant for Discrimination

He shoots! He… sues? Former NBA player Joe Barry Carroll is suing the Tavern at Phipps in Atlanta, Georgia with the argument that he and his associate were victims of a discriminatory restaurant policy.

Carroll and his associate Joseph Shaw were escorted out of the upscale bar in August of 2006 when they refused to give up their seats to white women. The restaurant claims they were merely enforcing a “good manners” policy that has been implemented at the restaurant for over 20 years. The bar tender who was serving Carroll at the time claims that there were no other men at the bar. When the two refused to give up their seats, the two were escorted out of the restaurant by security.

Carroll’s attorney Jefferey Bramlett alleges that after interviewing current and former staff of the bar, the restaurant encourages behavior that is discriminatory towards African Americans such as slow-serving blacks during hectic times and systematically limiting the number of black staffers

(via Yahoo! Sports)

Fast Food

In-N-Out Suing Yet Another “Copy Cat” Restaurant — Grab-N-Go Burger


East Coast restaurant  Grab-N-Go Burger was slapped with a trademark infringement lawsuit last week after burger chain In-N-Out felt the independent burger stand was copying the from the brand’s signature look and menu ideas. The irvine-based In-N-Out is seeking damages, citing damages done to their brand integirty. Some consider In-N-Out’s potential Eastward expansion plans that could further incite the protection of their pure cult-favorite burger brand.

We asked the question back in July of this year when In-N-Out threatened an Idaho Burger Stand with a lawsuit, “Does In-N-Out have the right?”

The full lawsuit is available for viewing here, if you’re a lawyer and into that kinda thing.

Are they being too overprotective of their brand, to the point of being bully and out-of-line? According to an updated statement from the owner of Grab-N-Go Burger Gus Siperko, “We are really rather livid over this.” In fact, he continued to explain to our friends over at the OC Register that he had never even heard of In-N-Out.

We get the idea that Grab-N-Go won’t be changing things up without a fight. Yet, by the looks of rather negative early Yelp reviews of the location, maybe they should?





Fast Food

In-N-Out Threatens an Idaho Burger Stand With Lawsuit

Boise, Idaho‘s Burger Express restaurant has been open for about a month and is already making national news — it’s being threatened by In-N-Out Burger lawyers. Owner Larry Squillace has put together a restaurant that follows a similar red, white and yellow color-scheme, similar block lettering in the logo, and a menu highlighting the same simplicity that In-N-Out Burger is famous for.

Local publication IdahoStatesman reports that people in the area have already made the comparisons, which have now only been further cemented by In-N-Out’s legal team.

In fact, the letter to Squillace went a little something like this:

There can be no debate that your restaurant is modeled after In-N-Out’s restaurants. Our information suggests that you have even copied In-N-Out’s food presentation — the burger partially wrapped with the side visible — to the customer.

The Burger Express owner has until August 5th to make the changes, before further action is taken. Squillace mentioned that it would take at least $37,000 to make the necessary changes the lawyers are asking of him.

While the look and branding share similarities with the already well-established In-N-Out, Burger Express’s menu also consists of three burger options, three fries, and cola — a model that Squillace attributes to the youth he spent working in his father’s restaurant.

Should Burger Express have to change its logo and succumb to In-N-Out’s demands? Or is In-N-Out claiming too much ownership over block lettering and overall brand dressing?



Taco Bell Issues a Stern Statement Condemning Meat Quality Lawsuit

Taco Bell‘s President and Chief Concept Officer Greg Creed has just released a statement via the Taco Bell website that publicly adresses a class action lawsuit questioning Taco Bell beef quality. The statement makes sure to re-iterate that they purchase their beef from the same trusted brands that you find in supermarkets, with a reference made to the likes of Tyson Foods. Their products start with 100 percent USDA-inspected beef. Creed continues to state that the lawyers and parties behind the lawsuit “got their ‘facts’ absolutely wrong” and that legal action is planned for the false statements being made about their food. The statement makes no specific mentions of how much of their beef product is actually beef, but from what their statement alludes, it gives off the impression that the lawsuit may be completely superfluous.


Taco Bell Sued for $42 Million Dollars

After spending $510 million on Chihuahua ads between the years of 1997 and 2000, Taco Bell is being forced to fork over $42 million to the original creators behind the crazy talking Chihuahua ads. From what we’ve gathered, the original ad company who presented the idea of the “Psycho Chihuahua” were rejected by Taco Bell, but then the restaurant later teamed up with another ad agency that ended up using that same Chihuahua. $42 million is a lot of tacos. (Thx NancyLuna)