Have you ever seen a sign for a restaurant, whether it be their name, for a menu or a just promotional sign, that made you scratch your head, like WTF? Like, who thought this was a good idea? The purpose of signs and logos are to attract customers and make them want to come inside and eat at your establishment. But sometimes they do just the opposite, sending people running in the opposite direction in order to avoid a horrific case of food poisoning. Some of these signs are silly mistakes, some are (often failed) marketing ploys. Some are just spawned from pure stupidity. Here are 15 of the most ridiculous restaurant signs. Eat at your own risk!
15 Safe Sex for Dinner
Cabbages and Condoms, just what I think about when I am craving Thai food. I thought perhaps condoms meant something else in Thai. But instead my research led me to a condom themed restaurant in Bangkok. That's right, you read that correctly: condom themed. The decor is full of condoms from around the world, plus "messages that support family planning." Not sure who thought it was a good idea to pair food up with the safe sex concept, but hey, who am I to judge? Apparently it is a booming tourist attraction, so they must be doing something right. And they actually opened six other locations throughout Asia and one in the United Kingdom. I guess it could be a way to segue into the birds and the bees conversation with your kids. As they slurp their tom yum soup, you can explain how babies are made and how important it is to wait until marriage to have those babies, and therefore should practice safe sex. Brilliant!
14 Pissed Off Pizza
I really would love to know what restaurant this came from, but alas I could not find the actual source. Most people love a bit of self-depreciating humor, but this is not only setting your restaurant up for hate, but encouraging it. (And honestly, if you ask me, it is pretty odd not to at least have ice or butter, is it not?) They apparently don't like to be asked any questions. They might as well put up a sign that says, “Don't ask us for anything, screw off!” I wonder how many people give that one star review just to get 25% off of their next pizza (But really, do you think this obviously cheap place would stick to their word and give that discount? Doubt it). All I know is that pizza better taste freaking heavenly, or I would be telling them to screw off.
13 Anti Semitic Eats
It's probably safe to say that this restaurant pissed off a lot of people, and quite understandably so. This Nazi themed restaurant is located in Mumbai, India and along with its offensive name, featured a giant poster of Hitler inside, along with various other Nazi memorabilia. Seriously, how in hell did they come up with this? What customers were they trying to attract? Did they find it a tongue-in-cheek type of joke? Because, honestly, it's not funny, just disturbing. According to the owner, he chose the name because, "Hitler is a catchy name. Everyone knows Hitler." Wow. I don't even know what else to say to that. Needless to say people in Mumbai, and soon, around the world, started to protest against it. Soon the protestors won the battle, and restaurant was forced to change its name. It became The Cross, and the poster and all of the Nazi memorabilia were tossed out.
12 Feed the Hungry
The old guilt trick. Mothers around the world have been using this particular tactic for years and years. And it more often than not proves to be quite effective (I am currently trying to master this technique to use on my own son when he is old enough to make feel guilty). However, when a restaurant uses it, I think it may do just the opposite. Seeing this sign may make you laugh, and perhaps spark some curiosity. But then again, it may make you question why this establishment feels the need to use such cheap tricks. Are they really in that dire of a situation? Does no one want to eat there? Why the hell not? If they are going to opt for this technique, they should just go the extra mile and have a scruffy and sad looking child out front, begging customers to come inside. I mean, who can deny a hungry child?
11 Who's Making That Pizza?
Now, it is highly likely that you would look at this sign and automatically assume it is a foreigner making an honest mistake with the English language. But then again, is it? I mean, isn't all pizza homemade? (I think we all can agree that no one would be expect to go eat at a pizza restaurant and be given yucky frozen pizza). So perhaps it really isn't a mistake. Maybe, just maybe, it really is a bunch of prostitutes cooking in the kitchen. That could be their promotional shtick, like topless bartenders. Sex sells, after all. In the case of prostitutes, quite literally. So maybe there are a bunch of half naked ladies of the night rolling out dough and flipping pizzas. You never know (FYI, yes, I know, the word "ho" is a completely sexist and degrading name to call a female. But this is sarcastic humor, folks.).
10 Roadside Racism
When I first saw this image, I thought it was a joke. But no, it is in fact a very real and still fully operational restauarnt. Having been built in 1940 and located along US Highway 61, south of Natchez, Mississippi, it is consdiered a roadside attraction these days, which is why it is still standing without protest. It was evidently constructed to capitalize on the craze for Gone With the Wind that was going on during that time.
Now, for those of you who don't know, a mammie is a 20th century Southern archetype for a black woman who worked as a nanny and/or general housekeeper. That's the nicer definition. In reality it was a black woman who was a servant to a white family. Using that image and name is clearly offensive and racist. Yet the owners say the image was meant as positive and to convey a feeling of “nurturing and nourishment.” Old photos show the main building/woman as much darker, so they must have decided to lighten her up throughout the years.
9 Phallic Dog
Most everyone can see the phallic imagery associated with a hot dog, even without the use of this flowery language. So I can't help but feel this was totally intentional on the restaurant's part. Yes, there is a seal on the photo that says "Innocent English" which makes you think this was someones poor interpretation of the English language. But that was just put there by whoever snapped the photo. If they were assuming this was just another case of poorly translated English, they were gravely mistaken. I mean, c'mon, this is written in perfectly well-thought out English. Nothing is misspelled and the grammar is all correct, and rather descriptive. They knew what they were doing. The feel of that long piece of meat in your mouth, the sound it makes as your lips wrap around it, that unique salty taste. Wait... we are still talking about hot dogs here, aren't we?
8 Roach Cancer
I'm sorry, but clearly this sign is a lie. If those little buggers can survive a nuclear blast, they sure won't be stopped by cancer. I know, I know, it's meant to be a joke. But probably not the best joke to use in an establishment that is meant for eating. If there are in fact roaches (and let's face it, a whole lot of restaurants have them, including some of the most cleanly ones), well now you have just called attention to them. And if there are not any roaches, you have now put it in the costumers' heads that there might be. Either way, you are sure to kill a few appetites with this sign. But, you know what? If it is a restaurant that is having such a surplus of people throwing cigarette butts all over the floor that they feel the need to put up a sign to stop them, then perhaps it's not the cleanest place to begin with, with or without the roaches.
7 Who's Your Daddy?
Ah, yes, the notorious milkman joke. I am all too familiar with it, as my two older brothers loved to tell me my father wasn't my father, and that the milkman really was my daddy. Over and over again. Thankfully, I didn't get a complex from it (Except for those hours I spent staring back and forth from a mirror to a picture of my parents, wondering where those green eyes and large nose came from). But seriously, I wonder how many people out there are unaware that they are fathers. I am sure there are plenty.
As I read this sign, bad porno music blasts in my head and a hot young shirtless TV repairman enters my house waving his tools around and... wait, sorry, I digress. I don't know if this sign would successful lure more patrons into the restaurant, but it sure works for provoking a good daydream... I mean, laugh.
6 Good Ol' Pounding
This sign is feasibly going to scare the heck out of some people, and for others, they may go charging post-haste through those doors. Luckily, while not everyone chooses to eat at this particular chain, just about everyone is familiar with the golden arches' menu from the constant barraging of their commercials. So anyone could figure out it was clearly a misspelling of a burger called the Angus Pounder. Though, whether it was intentional or an innocent mistake is a different story (I wonder if the person who put up the letters actually got fired?). However, the sign says the word "new," so perhaps that particular menu item had just come out, and people really didn't know what it was meant to say. If that's the case, there may have been a whole lot of people staring at this sign in uncomfortable confusion.
5 Leave Your Jorts at Home
In case you have no idea what "jorts" are, Urban Dictionary described them to be the following: "Jean shorts. Worn mostly by children and douchebags. Jorts are perhaps the easiest way to recognize people you will not like. If you wear jorts, you probably don't talk to girls." Ouch!
The owner of this establishment obviously shares this opinion. I am curious, is it a particular kind of jort? The drawing on the sign is depicting cut off shorts, so are store bought, ready-made ones an exception? I am wondering why there is all the hate for a specific piece of clothing. Did he/she get picked on in high school by jerky guys who loved to wear jorts? Did a guy in jorts steal his girlfriend? (Though according to this definition, he wouldn't have had a chance, which would have made it all the more traumatizing). Or is this also in reference to girl's jean shorts? (If so, I guess I would be out of luck as I have many jean shorts). So many questions!
4 Seaman Sauce
To be perfectly honest, I personally love this sign. Maybe it's just the pervert in me, but I really think it's great. I love everything from the name of the restaurant, to their lettered sign packed with silly innuendos. Whether or not I would assume that the food was tasty if passing it along the road, well, that's a different story. I keep envisioning male patrons coming inside from a hot day, and cooling themselves by dipping their... you can use your imagination for the rest. Though, surprisingly, this restaurant has some pretty high ratings on Trip Advisor. It's meant to be a tacky Delaware tourist trap, which is made clear from the way they advertise it, but some of the prior customers have raved that the food is very good, and the seafood is very fresh. Didn't seem to find anyone raving about that seaman sauce though...
3 STD Pizza Combo
Mmmm, yummy... just what I was hoping to find on my pizza: good old fashioned herpes. Nothing says delicious pizza than a sexual transmitted disease. But make no mistake; these herpes aren't cold and old, they are hot and fresh and newly transmitted! Come to think of it, those brown burnt bubbles of cheese on top of a plain slice do in fact resemble crusty sores of sorts (Just ruined pizza forever for you, didn't I?). Judging by the phone number on the window, this is not an American pizza shop, so I think it is safe to assume they don't mean that kind of herpes. I am sure they are referring to some other kind of desirable herpes. Or maybe it is someone's name. If so, the poor guy better think of a nickname if he ever plans on visiting the U.S. And pizza restaurant aside, what type of store do you think is using that picture of a star-studded rooster as their official logo?
2 Fat Shaming
This restaurant sign sums up how I pretty much always feel after going out to eat at a good restaurant. It is a pretty catchy name with a good ring to it. Though I have a feeling it is going to scare the health conscious eaters away. (I can't help but picture it being filled with people on the larger side crammed together, slurping up noodles). But I mean, c'mon, it's good to indulge yourself once and a while, is it not? I was curious to see if "phat" and "phuc" were really Vietnamese words, so I looked them up on Google Translator. Apparently phat means Buddha (which I think is what the image is on the sign but it is a little hard to tell). But phuc didn't come up, so it is very likely that this sign was an intentional pun (To my Vietnamese readers, if I am incorrect; my bad!).
1 Cannibal Cuisine
This specific sign is particularly creepy for me, my name being Jessica and all. Do people really not think things through when they create something as important as a store-front sign? I get that the restaurant has an ambiguous name (which could be your first problem right there) and you want to make it clear that the purpose of going inside there is to eat, but perhaps putting the word "eat" in giant letters over a woman's name might not work out so well. (That would also apply if the second word wasn't “family.”) Unless, of course, it is in fact a menu filled with human meat entrees made from Jessica's family members, which is pretty terrifying, so I am not going to entertain that thought.
One more thing that makes this sign creepy for me is that my friend posted it on my Facebook wall as I was writing this article, without having any idea of what I was working on. *Cue eerie music*