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Food truck owner rejects RocoMamas statement on 'Smash Burger' controversy

A statement released by RocoMamas regarding its dispute with small business owner Muammer Kasu has been described by members of the public as "condescending" and "dishonest".

Credit: Rack n Grill
Credit: Rack n Grill

Kasu, who owns a small takeaway food business in Cape Town called Rack n Grill, received a legal letter from RocoMamas last week demanding that he change the name of his 'Smash Burger' menu item within 48 hours, due to the fact that RocoMamas is the registered proprietor of the 'Smashburger' trade mark in South Africa.

RocoMamas' demands have drawn the ire of many small business owners and members of the general public, who have rallied behind Kasu, labelling RocoMamas a corporate bully for trademarking what is essentially a technique for cooking a burger patty.

RocoMamas management met with the Rack n Grill owner on Tuesday in an attempt to find "an amicable solution", and the Spur-owned franchise then shared a statement on social media yesterday evening to announce the outcome.

The statement read: "A positive meeting was held yesterday between the management teams of RocoMamas and Rack n Grill, to discuss opportunities to collaborate and understand Rack n Grill business needs. Following this meeting, RocoMamas confirms that Rack’n Grill has been granted permission to utilise the RocoMamas registered trade mark 'Smash Burgers, for its current business format. Going forward, RocoMamas will address the manner in which these matters are handled and sincerely apologises to its customers and all affected."

Kasu has however voiced his disagreement with the information supplied in the RocoMamas statement. According to Kasu, the statement released was meant to be a joint statement agreed to by both parties, which ended up not being the case.

A Rack n Grill statement shared to social media said: While we were in good faith waiting for RocoMamas to issue us with a draft press statement which were are happy to release together as agreed in [Tuesday's] meeting between the parties, they went ahead and published their own version without our approval. We strongly deny the content thereof. It is also in stark contrast to the preliminary agreements reached between the parties."

Public sentiment has largely been in support of Rack n Grill, and the RocoMamas statement and apology seems only to have fuelled further outrage.

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