Food truck owner’s stand against burger giant unites local small business eateries
Cape Town – Chef and food truck owner Muammer Kasu said he has been overwhelmed by support received from local small businesses after he was served with a legal letter from RocoMamas to change the name of one of his burgers.
Local eatery business owners have rallied behind Kasu - owner of Rack ’n Grill - after the food giant, owned by the Spur Group, ordered him to change the name of his “Smash Burger” as they are the registered proprietor of the “Smash Burger” brand.
A number of burger joints in Cape Town have now put their own spin on a “Smash Burger” as they said they were taking a stand against “corporate bullying tactics”.
“We would never have imagined or envisaged such support from the local industry. It has indeed restored my faith in humanity. The support has been overwhelming and unreal. This really just goes to show that people in Cape Town can unite. It definitely is a feel good moment,” said Kasu.
He added that small businesses were continually being targeted by food giants.
“I just decided, enough now. It’s not a new thing for these big corporates coming after small businesses in this way. Because they have the manpower and think they have the authority that we will back down. I am not doing this for myself.
“These big companies have forced small businesses to think they don’t have a voice but we do. Our entrepreneurs must be supported. I am willing to do whatever I can to protect small businesses and I may not have the resources to take this on legally but I will fight as I want to do my part to help our smaller guys who are bullied in this manner,” said Kasu.
Kasu said a meeting is planned for tomorrow with the Spur Group.
“This is a learning curve for everyone. In the past year, it has been difficult and we have struggled to put food on the table. We just wanted to survive this year. I don’t even want anything from them but they have the resources to empower, why not rather work together?” said Kasu.
Spur Group spokesperson Moshe Apleni said: “RocoMamas Management have reached out to the owner of Rack ’n Grill to set up a meeting and find an amicable solution.”
GrillFather owner Tina Swiegelaar, among the small businesses rallying behind Kasu, said: “I am so happy that our ‘protest action’ was successful. The thinking behind the protest action was to tell Spur, ‘you come for one, you come for all’. They are the ones that have all the money and resources. Maybe this will educate the masses to support small businesses, to empower a community and to keep food on the tables for most.”
The ANC Youth League also supported Kasu, said provincial chairperson, Muhammad Khalid Sayed.
“We are not amused when big companies act like bullies who think they can use their capital to squash the so-called little people.”