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Saturday 08 April 2017

Eatery tells customer to “relax” about “poof” signage

Posted in: New Zealand Daily News
By Daily News staff - 24th March 2017

A new Auckland Vietnamese sandwich eatery that was called out for its use of a “homophobic slur” on signage has made changes to the menu and apologises for offending people. It’s apology comes after telling a customer to on Facebook on Wednesday to “relaxxx” about the use of the word.

The original signage at Bun Mee Kiwi in Henderson.
The menu signage at the Bun Mee Kiwi in Henderson lists the standard fillings for each sandwich on offer, which included "Jalapeño, unless you're a poof”.

Store manager John Baxter says “obviously we stirred a few people the wrong way, that context in which it was used was not supposed to offend anyone so we’ve done our best to remedy and move forward.”

He says they didn’t intend to offend anyone and they are “deeply apologetic”, but that it is part of their concept of “life’s too short for shit food”. The concept comes from the San Franscico Bun Mee chain which uses the word “sissy” in the menu, something Baxter says they couldn’t use in New Zealand.

“We’re from a Polynesian background and so it’s not offensive to us”, he says.

Baxter told a Gaynz Daily News journalist that as part of the hospitality and music industry they “have lots of gay friends” and that they ran the use of the word “poof” past some of these friends who found it “fricken funny”.

He says the eatery is in West Auckland, in “Westie Central” and that most of the customers that come though “get it”.

A debate about the use of the word erupted on the Bun Mee Kiwi Facebook page earlier this week after a member of the public, Lisa Dunn, shared an image of the menu. She asked the eatery “on what planet and in what century do you think it would be any kind of good idea for your new business to put a homophobic slur on your menu?” .

The eatery, which opened on 18 March, responded to the comments on its Facebook page, writing “Woah woah woah people relaxxx.. if the word poof is offensive we will find a more appropriate word that could fit theme of fast casual straight up no bullshit food that is simple but quality... our moto "life's too short for S#!t food" describes us to a t and banter that most people get if you have time to come in and enjoy in the atmosphere... do not judge people who have little idea of what it is we are trying to do .. we will remedy so relaxxxx please help us come up with a more PC appropriate word but it can't be Sissy thanks and expect our apologies.... Sorry Lisa we will sort 😁”

The menu now reads “Jalapeño, if you can handle the jandal”, which Baxter says “could offend someone who has been beaten by a jandal, like an islander, but you know we can laugh at that, obviously some people can’t”.

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