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The business names principle


A business that is named to present an image tends to not fulfill that image.

I've worked in several places that exemplify this principle.


Café Helder, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Helder means "clear" in Dutch. This is an easy target — clarity is uncommon in food service. Complicated logistics, unpredictable events, general incompetence, and true indifference ensure that this is the rule. Cafe Helder was no exception.

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"Restaurante Mex Rock," Seville, Spain.

There was no rock at Mex Rock.

The operation had done or neglected something, and the cops had come and placed a noise-detector in the building.

The consequence of a violation is serious — they can shut you down without notice, quickly. (This happened once at my favorite café in town, the excellent Café Levies, an entirely moderate and easy joint. Neighbors complained about the noise from the modest sound-system, and the policia closed the place for about a month.)

Mex Rock had come under injunction — and it was pretty quiet.

Mex yes, rock no.

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Image Concepts Corporation, Seattle Washington

The art department at ICC never produced anything. In the months I worked there, we printed T-shirts with designs that were commissioned by other businesses — we cranked 'em out, racked 'em and packed 'em. I only ever saw one design on which the artist was working — and we never printed it.

Image Concepts....


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