Thursday, March 27, 2008

Signs of the (new) times

This is a good time to be in the sign business. First KFC reveals that it might replace its familiar exterior logos with ones reading, “Kentucky Fried & Grilled Chicken,” a dramatic act of support for the chain’s new roasted chicken (it’s roasted on a plate that leaves grill marks; hence the name. Apparently “Kentucky Fried & Roasted/Grilled Chicken” was adjudged to be a bit much.)

Then sister chain Pizza Hut disclosed that the home office in Dallas will replace its exterior nameplate with one reading, “Pasta Hut,” a not-so-subtle shill for the $11.95 trays of pasta that will be added to stores’ delivery menu on April 6. The rechristening is supposed to happen next Tuesday, otherwise known as April Fool’s Day, and last for a month. But, remember, Pizza Hut is run by the same company that announced on a past April 1 that it had purchased the Liberty Bell for promotional use by its Taco Bell chain.

You have to wonder what Taco Bell’s parent has in store for the exterior signs of that chain. If it follows the patterns set with its other holdings, Yum! Brands will be swapping out the current trade dress for logos reading, “Taco Platters,” or “Taco Smoothies.” Platters were introduced a short ways back, and smoothies are on the rollout schedule for this summer.

But in the meanwhile, the signage business can pick up a little more coin from Ruth’s Chris Steak House Inc. The high-end operation doesn’t feel that its corporate identity should be based on only one restaurant brand when the fold was enlarged through a recent acquisition to include the Mitchell’s Fish Market, Mitchell’s Steakhouse and Cameron’s Steakhouse concepts. It reportedly plans to ask shareholders at their annual meeting on May 22 to approve a switch to the more inclusive handle, “Ruth’s Hospitality Group Inc.”

1 comment:

  1. I think Taco Bell should modify their name to include the tag line: Mexican Origami. Im still waiting for the beef burrito folded like a swan or butterfly.
    Since you are on signs, Panda express adds their first new menu item in twenty years and they call it "Bejing Beef". Talk about bad timing! Whats next? Tibetan Tofu?
    What does the description on the menu read for Bejing Beef? Thin sliced beef tenderized under authentic chinese tank treads in Tiannemen square.

    Sincerely, Steakman