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The World's Worst Chain Restaurant Names

Whoever started these 10 chains obviously didn't give it much thought.
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Choosing the name for your business is always a tricky proposition. You want it to be snappy, catchy, memorable, have a nice ring to it, and somehow imply what your product is. Tech startups like Zynga can choose basically whatever they want, but when choosing the name of a restaurant, especially a potential chain, you really need to give it some thought. Whoever started these 10 chains obviously didn't give it much thought.

For as long as restaurants have been around, they've had terrible names. For every Delmonico's, there are 10 Slaughtered Lamb Pubs (an actual bar in New York). Historically, restaurants and bars were given the name of the owner, or perhaps some literary or historical allusion, and in general tried to stay as mundane and inoffensive as possible.

Take Louis' Lunch in New Haven, Conn., for example, which has been around since the late 1800s and is widely credited as being the birthplace of the hamburger. It was started by a guy named Louis, and he served lunch there. So there you go: Louis' Lunch.

As the years went on, though, it become harder and harder for restaurants to differentiate themselves from the rest of the pack. There could only be so many bars with generic Irish names, so outlandish monikers like Bennigan's, Houlihan's, Fuddrucker's, and Applebee's began to sprout up. From there it was only a matter of time until owners began to go for shock value, giving rise to the likes of Hooters, Skinny Dick's, and the like. People saw, people chuckled, and people became customers.

The rationale behind chain restaurant names is always somewhat of a mystery. Most of the time, it's because there was no rationale: Someone came up with a name, it got a go-ahead, and voilà. Usually, the settled-upon name satisfies all the criteria set forth above, like Burger King, for example. It's memorable, has a great ring to it, and clearly lays out what the restaurant sells. The world's worst chain restaurant names don't really satisfy any of the criteria, or perhaps they satisfy them a little too well, basically smacking you in the face with its lack of subtlety (we're looking at you, Eatza Pizza).

So read on to learn about some really awful chain restaurant names. Be prepared to wince.

S&M Café
The S and M in the name of this former chain of British cafés apparently stood for “search and meet,” but S&M really only has one definition, and it’s one we don’t want to associate with food.
Photo Credit: © Flickr / Steve Parkinson
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Slug and Lettuce
This is actually a wildly successful and much-imitated chain of pubs in the U.K. Such an unappealing name, though!
Photo Credit: © Flickr / Ewan Munro
The name really says it all, and is obviously not intended to lure in those on a diet. Originally dubbed Mr. Fatburger by founder Lovie Yancey in 1947, the “Mr.” was dropped in 1952 and the rest is history. Solid burger, unpleasant name.
Photo Credit: © Flickr / Rupert Ganzer
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Eatza Pizza
One of the biggest all-buffet pizza chains in the U.S., the name is also a bit too on-the-mark.
Photo Credit: Eatza Pizza
Hogi Yogi
At Hogi Yogi, you can eat hoagies, and frozen yogurt! We’re not sure if the name is worse before or after you figure out what it means.
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Photo Credit: Hogi Yogi

-- Dan Myers, The Daily Meal

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