So with just under 4 weeks until we were due to unleash Beerstro on London, more specifically Camberwell, there's been what you might call a 'rude awakening' at Beerstro HQ. (Please don't call it that anymore).
There's more to opening a restaurant than just a concept you believe in and the service standards you've lived your career by coupled with a passion for bloody awesome beer. "What more could there be than that?" We hear you cry... The law, more specifically EU Trademark law.
NOW, when I received an email from a law firm based in the south of France two things struck me. The first being, they're in France why are they bothering meThe second being, bloody hell this is one aggressive letter.
I'd be telling you a massive lie if I didn't say that I was absolutely livid at them at first (purely because I thought I was the genius that realised if you put "beer" and "bistro" together than you get "Beerstro" (it's very evident now that that was not the case).
As it turns out, "Beerstro Taverne Moderne" is a registered EU trademark. BUGGER.
I've spent my career to date delivering, what I see as, good service. I've developed wonderful teams of people, made many a guests experience one that is memorable, happy and occasionally hilarious. I've also been gifted the opportunity to have free reign on events, marketing and try some pretty outrageous stuff. Whilst I was under no illusion that I knew everything, I had hoped that I had made all my expensive mistakes whilst working for someone else.
Anyway, the long and short of it is, we needed a new name and we needed one before I got my ass handed to me by the French. We arrived at "Malt + Pepper" fairly early on (after quickly dismissing "Bierstro"... I say quickly, that one lingered for a little while). We went around the block a few times, and then pondered for a couple of days, then got a raft of new logos designed, and d'ya know what? I much prefer the new branding to the old stuff.
Lesson 1 on this Beerstro/ Malt + Pepper journey - USE GOOGLE (thoroughly).