Take a lesson from Underbelly, a Houston restaurant and wine bar which was sent a cease-and-desist letter from In-N-Out when the burger giant discovered that they were using the trademarked term “Double Double” to describe their burgers. What did Underbelly do? Well, they ceased and desisted alright, but by renaming that burger (one that reportedly uses two cheese slices and two beef patties butchered on the premises) the “Cease & Desist” burger.
Underbelly isn't the first to be sent such a letter by the Irvine-based company, but they are the first in my recollection that has turned it into a publicity boon. Ever since they announced the rename in a tweet last week and Eater picked up on it, the story has been spread around some major news outlets, ending up in no less than Time Magazine's blog. And there's this, the restaurant has told Time that ever since they renamed it, the “Cease & Desist Burger” has become one of their most popular items.
Also, in a recent Facebook post that seems to thumb their nose at In-N-Out just a little bit further, owner Chef Chris Shepherd shows a picture of himself eating In-N-Out Double Double wearing no less than a sanctioned In-N-Out chef toque.
In light of all this, perhaps Underbelly should now consider trademarking their “Cease & Desist” burger themselves.
Before becoming an award-winning restaurant critic for OC Weekly in 2007, Edwin Goei went by the alias “elmomonster” on his blog Monster Munching, in which he once wrote a whole review in haiku.