When the fast-food giants lawyers swooped on a small Canadian restaurant over its fish burger, the response was pithy
When Canadian chef Paul Shufelt decided to market a new burger at his Edmonton restaurant, he wanted to pay homage to the fast-food greats that have come before him not find himself embroiled in a legal battle with a multinational corporation.
After creating a cod burger with coleslaw and red onions, Woodshed Burgers named their newest item the Effing Filet O Fish, a reference to both local company Effing Seafood, which provided the seafood, and the famous McDonalds sandwich.
We serve burgers and fries. We dont take ourselves too seriously and were a little bit tongue-in-cheek, Shufelt told the Guardian. If you follow us on Instagram at all, you would see that, you know, were meant to be playful and fun.
For nearly half a year, the burger served with homemade buns and condiments was a hit with customers.
But it was less popular with lawyers representing McDonalds.
On Wednesday morning, a firm representing the fast-food giant wrote to Shufelt, arguing that the company, which operates 36,000 restaurants worldwide, had worries the Effing Filet O Fish was likely to cause confusion among consumers and also could diminish and dilute the strength of McDonalds trademark.
Shufelt dutifully complied with the request, removing the Effing Filet O Fish from the menu.
As a small business owner, you open your inbox and theres a letter from a lawyer telling you to cease and desist. Theres a moment of panic and anxiety, said Shufelt. But then you start reading it and you cant help but laugh.
The restaurant recently announced a new and trademarked burger: the McEffing Fish Filet.
Were changing the name and complying with what they want, but still taking a little jab at them.
After posting images of the new burger on Instagram, the restaurant warned customers not to confuse our McEffing fish burger with the McDonalds Fillet o Fish!
Shufelt is flattered the fast-food giant is worried about little old us, little old us and the 30-odd fish burgers his restaurant sells each week. At the end of the day, I feel like I should send a gift basket to the lawyers, thanking them for all the publicity.