061009. Cape Town. Patrons at the Sawadee Thai food restaurant in Gardens. Picture Ian Landsberg. Reporter Bianca Coleman

New Zealand bar and restaurant owner Fred Bennett was puzzled when plenty of locals visited after he started selling Thai food, but no Thais, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

He didn't find out why until the departure of the Thai chef who had suggested the new name he had made into a sign for the restaurant in the South Island city of Nelson, the Nelson Mail reported.

The departing chef had told him the sign meant “Welcome and see you again,” but the first thing his replacement asked Bennett was, “Why did you call your restaurant 'Go Away and Don't Come Back'?”

“That's why it pays to research,” a rueful Bennett told the paper. “I'd like to apologize to the Thai community if I have offended them, which I'm pretty sure I would have,” he said at his restaurant, now renamed Victory Thai. – Sapa-dpa