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#1231

maineiac

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 11:26 AM

So I went and read about the whole "Hon" controversy, and while I understand it, I still don't "get" it if that makes sense. It really was a huge deal from what I could see.

I did look at the yelp reviews and it appears that the service was a huge problem.

When the owner was throwing away perfectly good uncooked steaks, french fries, fish, etc. it hurt my heart. What a waste of food, for no apparent reason. She could have turned them over to a soup kitchen or shelter.


It was all so frantic and unnecessary. I'm still not sure why she was throwing all that food away. If a batch of fries isn't good, doesn't it make more sense to throw the batch away and make a new one? She was pitching raw steaks into the trash because someone complained about a cooked one?
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#1232

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 12:06 PM

I wonder if the owner of Cafe Hon is screaming about how the Yelp Syndicate is now targeting her. For those that don't recall the Yelp Syndicate watch the two Burger Kitchen episodes. They are repeating next week apparently.

I'm still not sure why she was throwing all that food away.

Dementia?

Unless the rest of the potatoes had gone bad which can be checked same with the steaks you just cook some more. You also try to figure out if the fryer or the oil in it is the problem. Sometimes the oil needs to be changed and the fryer undergo a good cleaning.
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#1233

maineiac

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 12:15 PM

Unless the rest of the potatoes had gone bad


I think we would have been told that via GRs "It's ROTTENNNNN my man" and "Your'e going to kill someone!!!!"

I miss the old shows. These new ones that focus on community relations and dysfunctional family dynamics veer too far off the original premise of the show.

Edited by maineiac, Feb 25, 2012 @ 12:16 PM.

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#1234

ubi

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 12:20 PM

When the owner was throwing away perfectly good uncooked steaks, french fries, fish, etc. it hurt my heart. What a waste of food, for no apparent reason. She could have turned them over to a soup kitchen or shelter.

Alas, that is illegal. As I understand it, some ingrate sued after getting sick on donated restaurant food.
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#1235

DuckyinKy

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 2:21 PM

There was something terribly wrong with that woman. The fact that she was a business owner is secondary. When they were in the radio station and she reached out and took GR's face with her hands, she looked ridiculous.
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#1236

jmhm

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 2:22 PM

Funny thing: according to the Baltimore papers, Cafe Hon was still a popular destination restaurant for tourists, the owner runs the popular Honfest, and she certainly did have enough money to hold on to what, fourteen staff people for what amounts to a medium-sized diner?

But you can tell the owner has watched her Gordon Ramsay, and her sad, sad tale (which even Gordon - and one of her waitresses - pointed out amounted to lies and whining) was made up of all Kitchen Nightmares greatest hits.

She sold her house!

She just put in her last $10k! (presumably her lawyer just gave the state a good finger wagging for the trademark violation, and her other businesses have gone under?)

She's offended the locals and doesn't know what to do or even what she did to upset them!

It's her way or the highway, but she didn't realise how much she was hurting her staff!

There have been death threats, in the sense that there have been no death threats but she feels like the hostility (which, unlike her businesslike behavior, doesn't, by and large, seem to have come from people waving lawyers) amounted to hating her so much that it was kind of like wanting her dead, so!

A crossover from Hell's Kitchen: she stops service to gather everyone around and show them how to snap asparagus correctly!

and my personal favorite, cobbled together from what appears to have been a great deal of Gordon Ramsay viewing, Somehow, she lost the thread, but if she could just put together a simpler menu full of beautifully prepared fresh local food...

Then the part where she takes all he has to say so seriously that she has her epiphany about Love[tm] and Her Soul[tm] and Hon[tm for now] being In Our Hearts[tm] in the midst of a Baltimore-sized media circus, got a few hundred grand worth of renovations, and advertised her new menu to national tourists for free, which is what this was all about, really.

I'll be amazed if she doesn't already have a franchise in the works. Granted she seems to be a thoroughly dreadful person, you have to give her props for how hard she played the producers of this show.
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#1237

backformore

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 4:24 PM

Five minutes in and I'm hoping for this restaurant to go under.


That's the issue I have with the show. When the owners are assholes, I want them to fail. I'd rather have Ramsey help owners who are nice, hardworking people, but their restaurant needs a little tweaking. When he helps people like this "Hon" lady, I get annoyed on behalf of the people who will lose money when their customers leave to go to a "Cafe Hon". Too many of the restaurant owners on this show, and "Restaurant Impossible" are self-centered jerks with no business sense who deserve to learn a harsh lesson. Instead, they're bailed out and never have to face the consequences of their idiocy.

Also, I really wanted Ramsey to tell her that the cutesy-pie names on the menu were crap, and that she should just call dishes normal names.
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#1238

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 4:50 PM

Instead, they're bailed out and never have to face the consequences of their idiocy.


Well if their idiocy continues they will fail.
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#1239

walnutqueen

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 6:09 PM

jmhm, I think you hit the nail on the head. The owner's epiphany was disingenuous, at best, and her transformation was totally suspect.
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#1240

HandBanana

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 6:27 PM

There was something terribly wrong with that woman. The fact that she was a business owner is secondary. When they were in the radio station and she reached out and took GR's face with her hands, she looked ridiculous.


I really, truly think she might have a mental illness, perhaps bipolar or something. Who the hell throws out food for no good reason? She was explosive and rude.

I agree that her transformation is highly, highly suspect.
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#1241

3NV7

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 9:18 PM

I'm not sure what's more ridiculous - the fact that this lady trademarked the word "hon", or that Baltimore thinks they have a special right to the word. Here in the south I probably get called "hon" twice a day on average by random strangers.
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#1242

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 11:02 PM

Also, I really wanted Ramsey to tell her that the cutesy-pie names on the menu were crap, and that she should just call dishes normal names.


When Ramsay was showing the new menu weren't most of the dishes normal names?

Cafe Hon was still a popular destination restaurant for tourists, the owner runs the popular Honfest, and she certainly did have enough money to hold on to what, fourteen staff people for what amounts to a medium-sized diner?


The thing is comping what 800 dollars a night? plus a lot of the locals boycotting the place meant a huge amount of money lost each night.

As for tourists they would only come once and on return trips to Baltimore would avoid cafe hon. Also due to twitter, travel blogs etc bad places get avoided by tourists. The numbers of tourists would be on a steady decline.

Is anyone else going to watch Hotel Hell premiere? It looked hilarious when Ramsay stuffed himself into a sleeping bag rather then sleep in the bed after running the blacklight around the room.
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#1243

whirlingdervish

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 11:11 PM

I'm not sure what's more ridiculous - the fact that this lady trademarked the word "hon", or that Baltimore thinks they have a special right to the word. Here in the south I probably get called "hon" twice a day on average by random strangers.


Marylander here. I don't think it was so much that Baltimore thinks they have a special right...it's that Denise was so very, very nasty and aggressive about going after folks who used "hon". So it's more that people were pissed off because Denise claimed special right to a word. That's what got people's dander up. It's a little catchphrase that's used in talking, but also used to describe a part of Baltimore culture, so for someone to claim it and then say, "You can't use that anymore, it's mine, mine, mine, all MINE. Give that back. That's MY word!" Well, that just stuck in the craw of a lot of folks around town. It was just...crass and gross and really, really mean-spirited, you know?
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#1244

misterbfd

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Posted Feb 25, 2012 @ 11:24 PM

I'm not going to defend Denise at all on the trademarking of the word "hon" and the (natural) effect that the whole mess had on the community. It is in some ways similar to the Monster Cable thing. But I will simply point out that trademark law requires a trademark holder to "protect" their trademark by notifying others of improper use of their mark. Failing to protect a mark can lead to loss of the trademark and the trademark being declared generic.

Again, don't get me wrong, I'm not defending Denise but I did want to point out that for a trademark holder to retain their mark they have to protect it by telling others who are using it to cut it out.
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#1245

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 12:29 AM

The problem was it was a common word. If people had defended their use of the word hon in court say for their merchandise she would have been smacked down.

It's like Trump trademarking "You're fired!"
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#1246

misterbfd

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 1:11 AM

Common words are trademarked all the time. Ever use Joy™ dish detergent? Or Dawn™? Maybe Tide™ laundry soap? Ever buy gas at a Shell™ station?

In any case, she was awarded the trademark. But like I said, I'm only offering up the information about the requirement that a trademark must be protected and defended.
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#1247

The Mad Maple

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 2:50 AM

I gotta say, it takes a special kind of bitch to piss off an entire city....

Common words are trademarked all the time. Ever use Joy™ dish detergent? Or Dawn™? Maybe Tide™ laundry soap? Ever buy gas at a Shell™ station?

And if she'd stopped at just trademarking the word in relation to her restaurant's name, it would've been fine. But she went after everyone in the greater Baltimore area who used the word "hon" in public. That ain't nice.
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#1248

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 2:52 AM

And there are products sold with the word shell and joy in them all the time. They don't pay for the rights.

There are restaurants with the word Shell in them.

Sorry but usually when someone trademarks something and then sues someone for using the word which is common they are actually looking to score a quick buck since they figure the person being sued will not go to court.

I will give a real world historical example of this.
A certain film company in the US sued countless entities whether or not they had tried to rip off King Kong or tried to make King Kong merchandise. Thing is this film company actually didn't own the rights to King Kong yet had made millions suing and settling out of court since the people being sued decided it was cheaper to pay for an alleged copyright/trademark violation then go to court. Only one company took the film studio to court because they had their lawyer actually check the legal ownership of King Kong. This company was Nintendo and they won big against Universal. Nintendo's lawyer got his own yacht and a video game character named after him as a reward.

The owner of Cafe Hon was extorting people hence why she was hated by the city.
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#1249

ubi

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 6:48 AM

<deleted>

Edited by ubi, Feb 26, 2012 @ 7:30 AM.

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#1250

ubi

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 6:32 AM

<deleted>

Edited by ubi, Feb 26, 2012 @ 7:31 AM.

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#1251

ubi

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 6:26 AM

I'm not sure what's more ridiculous - the fact that this lady trademarked the word "hon"

Truth be told, I'm kinda surprised she was able to tradmark "hon", unless they meant that she trademarked "Cafe Hon" but that doesn't make much sense either...

Also, I really wanted Ramsey to tell her that the cutesy-pie names on the menu were crap

Which is one reason I refuse to eat at Moes.
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#1252

ubi

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 6:35 AM

I guess the question now is "Is 'Cafe Hon' still open?" and "Did that woman follow through with her promise to drop the trademark?".
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#1253

Leara83

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 8:33 AM

Any explanation for the huge pink flamingo outside?


I'm actually surprised Ramsay let her keep that. Anyone remember the restaurant with the huge tacky frog thing and Ramsay took it out in the backyard and burned it? Heck, I'm surprised the city let her have it up at all. The way it was leaning on the fire escape makes it look like it would be a hindrance to someone trying to escape an actual fire.

Anyone else think this episode should have been done over 2 parts like the Burger Kitchen? There was just so much story there with the trademarking wars and everything. They didn't even have time to show if Denise 86'd everything on Opening Night.

Is anyone else going to watch Hotel Hell premiere? It looked hilarious when Ramsay stuffed himself into a sleeping bag rather then sleep in the bed after running the blacklight around the room.


Yeah that did look funny and I will definately give it a watch. I'm a little confused though as to what Ramsay knows about running a hotel and what kind of advice he could give other than things that are common sense (like changing the dang sheets).
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#1254

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 8:55 AM

Ramsay before he started his culinary education was studying hotel management. A number of his restaurants are located in Hotels plus working in restaurants located in hotels. .

Much like Kitchen Nightmares there will be a staff of experts in hotels.

Chef Scott and Chef Andi run important parts of Ramsay's North American empire and are consultants on Kitchen Nightmares. Sometimes you see them on an episode working with the cooks. So much like them Ramsay will have people with lots of hotel experience on hand.

I'm actually surprised Ramsay let her keep that.

It's part of the Hon culture image much like the beehive hairdos. John Waters parodies the culture a ton in his movies. I suggest you don't watch Pink Flamingos unless you have a strong stomach. Two scenes cause a lot of people to vomit. Watch Hairspray since it is the tamest of his films and well pretty fun to watch due to Ricky Lake.

Edited by runningoutofnam, Feb 26, 2012 @ 9:00 AM.

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#1255

HandBanana

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 11:21 AM

I'm very surprised she was able to trademark "Hon", too. It's not that great a name, either, Cafe Hon. I'm more surprised she would think it was a good idea to do that, or sue people. It's like the guy the other week who did the interview saying a lot of the would-be customers around his place were racists. It's a completely boneheaded move to piss off the locals. I know if some business owner insulted the residents of my city en masse, I'd make it a point to never, ever go there. I hold grudges like that.

Cutesy names also turn me off to a place. Fortunately Boston isn't too cutesy, overall. BTW what is Moe's?

Was the Cafe Hon owner a Baltimore local?
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#1256

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 1:54 PM

BTW what is Moe's?


Only Moe's I know of is a chain of fast casual tacos.
http://www.moes.com/food/

Yep menu has lots of ridiculous names.

Was the Cafe Hon owner a Baltimore local?

Seems to have been. University of Baltimore graduate.

http://articles.balt...whiting-hampden

Yeah the boycott picked up steam after people found out she had trademarked the word hon.
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#1257

WileyCoyote

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 2:30 PM

Truth be told, I'm kinda surprised she was able to tradmark "hon", unless they meant that she trademarked "Cafe Hon" but that doesn't make much sense either...

They said specifically what she did. She trademarked "Cafe Hon" first, then learned that "Hon" wasn't trademarked and so followed up by doing that too.

And if she'd stopped at just trademarking the word in relation to her restaurant's name, it would've been fine. But she went after everyone in the greater Baltimore area who used the word "hon" in public. That ain't nice.

To be fair, she didn't go after people using it in speech. She went after uses of it in product and business names, advertising and merchandising campaigns, etc. That's what a trademark protects. It can't prosecute people for speech. Of course, this show oversimplifies and may have left the impression that people could no longer utter the word "Hon" without paying her blood money, but that wasn't the issue. And to further the fairness here (and I think someone else pointed this out already) likely it wasn't her doing any of this directly. She hired some kind of Intellectual Property law firm when getting her trademarks, and likely these cease and desist letters were sent out fairly automatically by them. She signed off on the whole thing in theory, and in practice may have gotten general updates and lists of who got notices, but probably it wouldn't have taken much of her mindshare unless someone disobeyed the letters and her attorneys wanted to take a case further. Was it crass and badly considered? Yes. Should she have realized what a bad idea it was the MOMENT she saw the first newspaper article lambasting her over it? Sure. Instead she got angry, defensive, and (the worst part) caught lying about it on national TV. So she wins stupid points and liar points, but I certainly don't think her initial actions were all that arrogant or mean. It was, as she said, just business. Badly considered business, but what she said was accurate.
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#1258

Lurker Steve

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 2:38 PM

They said specifically what she did. She trademarked "Cafe Hon" first, then learned that "Hon" wasn't trademarked and so followed up by doing that too.


Which is the problem. Had she trademarked the name of her restaurant and tried to stop anyone else from calling their establishment "Cafe Hon" I don't think you would have seen a backlash. But she trademarked a common word that had been part of Baltimore culture for a while and tried to get other businesses to stop using it, even if it had nothing to do with restaurants or food.

Whether she sent the letters herself or hired an IP firm to do it, the entire point of the cease and desist letters that were sent out is intended to cause a "chilling effect" because not many people have enough money in the bank to fight her.
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#1259

CoyoteBlue

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 4:42 PM

I was almost positive that you can't be that broad with a trademark. Like, she could keep any other restaurant/food establishment from using "Hon" in their name, but not anything using the word "hon". It's supposed to keep people from using the trademarked item in a way that confuses people - i.e. if you went into "Hon's Place" thinking it was "Cafe Hon" because you knew it was a restaurant famous for the use of "hon", that could be damaging to Cafe Hon's reputation / take away their business. But "Hon's Books" wouldn't create the same issues and thus she shouldn't be able to claim damages or prevent them from using "hon", especially for a word that's so ubiquitous in the area. No judge should uphold that shit.
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#1260

runningoutofnam

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 4:59 PM

The problem is that people just pay when they get hit with a cease and desist rather then go to court. People don't realize that if the other side losses one of the things that they pay for is the other side's attorney fees.

People who use trademark that way like the owner of Cafe Hon are like patent trolls they know that most will not bother to contest and pay out of court.
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