Food fight: Waffold’s California competitor claims the new Morningside concept stole its trademark

By on August 1, 2012

Photo courtesy of Waffold

“…others do deserve to know about the lack of innovation and originality fueling the Waffold concept in your town!” – Mona Shah-Anderson, Bruxie publicist.

Morningside’s new Waffold restaurant, which was slated to open July 31, might soon be faced with some legal troubles.

Bruxie, a California-based quick service restaurant specializing in “gourmet waffle sandwiches,” is targeting Waffold for potential trademark infringement.

What Now Atlanta received an email Wednesday from a California-based publicist who claims Morningside’s new Waffold concept is a “100% copy” of her client, Bruxie.

So, we thought we’d let you have a look-see at Shah-Anderson’s email to gauge your thoughts (WARNING: the run-on sentences are a little sticky):

Please allow me to introduce myself, I am a publicist in Orange County, California, and have represented restaurants in the area for many years. One of my clients is Bruxie, the original creators of Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches. As a restaurant publicist, I stay up-to-date with industry news and trends, and came across your What Now Atlanta blog article from July 18th entitled, “Burger Tap closes to soon be replaced by ‘Waffold’.”

I am writing to make sure that you – and your readers – are aware that this “new” concept is nothing more than a 100% copy of a client I have worked with for the past two years.

I just wanted to introduce you to Bruxie, as they are the original creators of the “Gourmet Waffle Sandwiches” (which is a registered trademark of Bruxie), and, essentially, the concept that Waffold is trying to emulate. Bruxie first introduced its quick-serve concept to Orange County in 2010, serving more than a dozen savory and sweet gourmet waffle sandwich offerings, dubbed “The Bold Fold” for their unique shape. And in 2011, our foodie fans helped us rank #2 on Yelp’s Top 10 list of most visited/rated restaurant in the nation!

First and foremost, I urge you to compare our established website with the Waffold site to see the similarities for yourself: Bruxie.com and Waffold.com. Bruxie has grown to three locations and we will continue to expand. I’m sure that a few of your readers may have seen us on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno when we first opened, or read about us in national media sources, but the others do deserve to know about the lack of innovation and originality fueling the Waffold concept in your town.

If you are ever in Orange County area, we would love to have you visit and give Bruxie a try! Here is a link to our website for a look at our menu and a few other links for more information about the concept and food.

A quick Google search results in a trademark registered by Bruxie for “gourmet waffle sandwiches.”

“I am very familiar with and admire the West Coast-based Bruxie brand. Inspired by their success, I chose to introduce the waffle sandwich concept to Atlanta,” Justin Lim, Waffold owner, said in an email to What Now Atlanta.

“While the menus are similar, based on classic sandwiches and desserts, we do feature signature Waffold originals. We have not positioned ourselves as the first ever waffle sandwich concept, just Atlanta’s first. Additionally, we are taking the proper steps to address any trademark concerns.”

About Caleb J. Spivak

CJS is the Founder of What Now Atlanta. He was recently featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch in 2012," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA was named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing and Atlanta Magazine.

19 Comments

  1. Roger Wilco

    August 1, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Publicists are cheaper than lawyers.

  2. DZ

    August 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

    What difference does it make?

    The will be out of business in a few months anyway!

  3. JT

    August 1, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    I can’t imagine this place lasting more than a few months anyhow. Morningside diners want food made with soul, not copycat gimmicky concepts.

  4. StevenT

    August 1, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    No legal footing here. Copycat or not, you can’t put a trademark on cooking styles. If Bruxie wanted to corner the Atlanta market they should have before someone else beat them to it. I hope they’re not surprised if they see copycats in other cities as well.

  5. StevenT

    August 1, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    And yes…the menus are almost identical

  6. Eric

    August 1, 2012 at 10:33 pm

    Hehe, the links in the quoted email both actually go to bruxie.com, the second says waffold.com but the href is bruxie.com

  7. Anon

    August 2, 2012 at 4:43 am

    What a joke. Waffold will close in a couple months anyway. I wonder what they are going to copy next.

  8. Cameron

    August 2, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Next up? Waffle House to sue Bruxie for serving Waffles in the first place. Seriously? Is Bruxie that threatened by a competitor that’s 3 time zones away? Isn’t the McDonalds McGriddle the same thing with pancakes?

    Doesn’t Bruxie have something better to do? Perhaps they are afraid their product isn’t good enough and their customers will instead go to a competitor 2000 miles away.

    Lamesause.

  9. AJ

    August 2, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Whether Waffold is a success or not is irrelevant. I think it’s insane that this Bruxie publicist is making such a big deal about this. Did McDonald’s complain when every other burger place opened? Did Pizza Hut Complain when every other pizza place opened. Did KFC complain? The list goes on and on…

  10. Waffle cones are bad enough

    August 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    The whole idea of a sammie on a waffle is not a good outcome for me. Hey, it is “America”: People will buy and/or eat anything and everthing! Good luck…

  11. Not reaaly anything

    August 3, 2012 at 8:50 am

    This is just a “contract” publicist doing her job- her main intent was to take it to her bosses and say, “See what I did for you in Atlanta – not even our market, but I pay attention to markets not even in our own footprint.” Did she care if anyone read it or posted about it – I don’t think so, but it goes in her portfolio anyway.

  12. Richard Bagge

    August 3, 2012 at 10:49 am

    It is serious business, actually, and a lot more than “oh, they both serve waffles.” Look up the legal war between Taco Cabana and Two Pesos if you have trouble with the concept. If Bruxie were to take off nationally, then no franchisee in Atlanta could launch if Waffold is established and ripping off their concept. Had Taco Cabana a publicist as sharp as this one, then they would have known what was going on in other cities, and saved themselves tens of thousands in legal bills fighting the upstart.

  13. Ann

    August 3, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    Wow after looking at the two businesses, they copied so very much. Regardless of legal issue this group still cannot not provide quality food and surely this restaurant will be closed in a few months. These guys should have taken a trip to Belgium in addition to California prior to opening to see what a real Belgium waffle is all about.

    What really bothers me is they lie. We went into Waffold and saw many of the same people working that had worked at Burger Tap. We naturally asked if it was the same owners and were told NO. When in fact according to an Access Atlanta article Sean Parks and the owners of Yoforia were stated as owners of Burger Tap. Very disappointing.

    Hopefully the next restaurant in that space has nothing to do with these people and is something yummy!

  14. blog

    August 6, 2012 at 2:28 am

    Everyone loves it when people come together and share
    opinions. Great website, stick with it!

  15. My 1st Waffle

    August 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm

    Had my 1st waffle skeptical at its best….not good enough for me to go back for seconds…another restaurant come and gone

  16. Old South

    August 8, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Its Atlanta. Atlanta doesn’t know anything other than to rip-off something that worked elsewhere. The town does this in all types of industry.

    Quick buck hucksters.

  17. Anon

    August 8, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I experienced the same thing. I went in there and asked if these were the same owners. They said “no.”. But I saw the same cook and register girl. Anyway, this place is bad. My waffle was soggy and did not have any flavor. I’m pretty sure they use frozen ingredients.

  18. Mises

    September 22, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Also detracting from Waffolds concept is the fact the country is in a full-on recession. People who love waffles are going to pay a real-world price at Waffle House rather than an inflated price for a “designer” sandwich made from the same 2-cents worth of ingredients.

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