Newly-Opened Restaurant’s Name Ignites Backlash For Being ‘Racist’—But The Owners Say It’s All In Good Fun

A new restaurant has just opened in the town of Saltash in Cornwall, United Kingdom. New business, especially places to eat, are always welcome, right?

But its name has stoked quite a controversy.

The name of the place?

Foreign Muck…

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Which is… a choice. It’s one name choice out of an infinite number of name choices.

And that’s all we’ll say about that.

But some of the locals have lots more to say—including formal complaints filed with both the Saltash Town Council and the Cornwall Council.

The resident who filed the complaints, according to The Independent, put it this way:

“I find the name of the restaurant absolutely outrageous and I know others in the town do too…”

“It’s overtly racist and discriminatory. How the owners could think calling it Foreign Muck is anyway near appropriate beggars belief.”

“The restaurant actually acknowledges the name might upset people on its website, but claiming it’s irony is no excuse for racism.”

The restaurant, opened by brothers Dean and Danny Thomas who grew up in Saltash, serves a mix of Mexican and American food—that is, “foreign muck”—inspired by Dean’s 20 years spent living in Phoenix, Arizona.

And for their part, they say the name is nothing but an in-joke reference to their father, who used to refuse to eat anything but traditional British food.

As they explain on their website:

“As a chef, I look at all this as a celebration of how far most of us have come, and obviously a little jab at the old man, and anyone who still does, or used to mutter, ‘I ain’t eating that foreign muck’. “

And speaking to local news outlet Cornwall Live, the brothers added:

“People with an agenda or closed mind will continue to get upset. But that’s not our intent. It’s about laughing at ourselves and a bit of satire.”

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This does seem a bit overwrought, and in these times, we surely have bigger fish to fry than this.

But, a few notes:

  • You’re opening your restaurant at a time of virulent racism and xenophobia…
  • With a menu partly based on a region of the United States that is infamous for, well, virulent racist xenophobia
  • In an area of the UK that in 2016 voted pretty decisively for *checks notes* virulent racist xenophobia…

Soooooo some people are probably gonna get the wrong idea.

So maybe don’t do this? Just, like, for good measure?

Also it’s pretty well known by now that irony is the foremost tool of the various alt-right and neo-fascist movements sweeping the globe.

So, saying “Calm down it’s just a joke” doesn’t really inspire much confidence in your motives nowadays, but you do you, Brothers Thomas.

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Also “Foreign Muck” is a very unappetizing name for a restaurant anyway but that’s for a marketing professional to sort out.

Anyway, on the ol’ internet, most people seemed to find this controversy ridiculous.

But while seemingly in the minority, some agreed that it was a bad move…

While others just thought the name sucked.

For people who don’t wish to call their business “muck,” the book How to Create a Great Business Name: An easy way to name your business, is available here.