Rack ’n Grill chef and owner Mohammed Kasu. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Rack ’n Grill chef and owner Mohammed Kasu. File picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

RocoMamas grilled over its ’about-turn’ in Smash Burger trademark stand-off

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Apr 22, 2021

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Cape Town – Food truck company Rack ’n Grill has taken exception to RocoMamas’ response in what was supposed to have been a joint statement after a stand-off about the use of the brand name ’’Smash Burger’’.

Several social media users have also been outraged by RocoMamas’ response last night, particularly with the fact that they have ’’given permission’’. RocoMamas, which is owned by the Spur Group, has been accused of corporate bullying for trademarking a technique essentially used for cooking a burger patty.

’’While we were in good faith waiting for RocoMamas to issue us with a draft press statement which were are happy to release together as agreed in (Tuesday’s) meeting between the parties, they went ahead and published their own version without our approval.

’’We strongly deny the content thereof. It is also in stark contrast to the preliminary agreements reached between the parties," Rack ’n Grill said in a statement last night.

After meeting RocoMamas on Tuesday, Rack ’n Grill chef and owner Mohammed Kasu, hinting at possible collaboration between the two parties in future, posted on Twitter: ’’We have resolved amongst other things to be shared in due course, that I will continue using the name Smash Burger on my menu and advertising.’’

Having given Rack ’n Grill 48 hours to change the name of its burger last week Wednesday – RocoMamas have a trademark for ’’Smashburger’’, Rack ’n Grill calls theirs ’’Smash Burger’’ – their statement last night said: ’’A positive meeting was held yesterday between the management teams of RocoMamas and Rack n Grill, to discuss opportunities to collaborate and understand Rack n Grill business needs.

’’Following this meeting, RocoMamas confirms that Rack ’n Grill has been granted permission to utilise the RocoMamas registered trade mark Smash Burgers for its current business format.

’’Going forward, RocoMamas will address the manner in which these matters are handled and sincerely apologises to its customers and all affected. We wish Rack ’n Grill well in their trading endeavours.’’

Kasu said he has been overwhelmed by support after local eatery business owners rallied behind him.

Commenting on the stand-off, chairperson of Cape Town Food Truck Association Hayden Seboa told the Cape Times last week: ’’The only reason they probably filed a trademark for ’Smashburger’ was to prevent a growing USA chain called Smashburger from ever entering the SA market.

’’I feel that for a corporate restaurant chain to threaten a small business owner in the current turmoil we are in is absolutely disgusting.”

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