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November 13, 2006

Links du Jour 11-13-06

QdobaAnd What is a Burrito? - Sandwich chain Panera Bread and a Mexican restaurant called The Qdoba Mexican Grill recently went to court in Massachusetts over whether or not a burrito is legally a sandwich. If the judge were to discover that burritos were sandwiches, Qdoba would have been barred from opening a restaurant in the same Worcester mall as Panera. Luckily for Qdoba, the judge consulted culinary historians and ruled against Panera, confirming what we all know: burritos are not sandwiches. They should have asked Chef Kevin, who has declared the case closed.

Arizona Company Unveils Revolutionary Approach to Internet Domain Speculation - An interesting post here about domain name investing and how “investors and businesses alike are probably passing on the best and most undervalued domain names”, or what are called “sleepers”. It comes down to buying a domain name that has branding vs. “natural” search engine marketing potential.

ProvistaBiofuel watchers, get ready to learn a new name: Provista - Biofuels have interesting names, like “Panda Ethanol” and now “Provista Renewable Fuels Marketing”, a joint venture between CHS Inc and US BioEnergy which is set to make 400 million gallons of ethanol/petroleum. John Litterio, director of Renewable Fuels Wholesale Marketing for Provista, says the name “captures our professional, proactive commitment to responding to change in the renewable fuels marketplace.” Sebastian Blanco at AutoblogGreen points out there are in fact a few other Provistas already out there.

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Posted by William Lozito at November 13, 2006 2:01 PM
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The post about Panera makes them seem silly, petty and small.

Where's the confidence in their offerings?

What makes them feel a Mexican place is a threat?

And more to the point; what do you think of a Mexican restaurant being named Qdoba Mexican Grill?

Always learn something good here; thanks for the links.


The origin of Qdoba:

Qdoba's identity, in fact, has gone through a few different iterations. The original name Zuma was changed to Z-Teca after its owners learned that the earlier name already existed in the Northeast. However, Z-Teca received challenges to its trademark, and since the company planned to expand nationwide, it needed a name that would work in all markets.

The company then hired a brand identity consultant, who advised the company that if it used a name that had a common meaning, chances were that the name already would be taken. The best thing to do, the company advised, was to come up with a name that didn't mean anything. Thus, Qdoba was created.


I think that a meaningless name is probably a good thing--the name sounds Spanish, at least, or possibly East African. I suppose most people, including Spanish speakers, will assume that it is the founder's last name, much like the Nando's Portugese Grill in Canada, Australia and South Africa.

But this is exactly the kind of article that gets people's backs up and does make the restaurant look petty. It is especially interesting to note that Qdoba is trying NOT to be just a burrito joint but a more sophisticated Mexican grill. So, this news does double damage: makes them look petty, and makes them look like burrito guys. Silly stuff.

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