Bad Marketing: Heart Attack Grill

I’m rolling my eyes as I write this, as a Boston branding expert and professional business writer. There’s apparently a “restaurant” (and I use that term loosely) in Las Vegas called “The Heart Attack Grill.”  Yes, folks, there’s an actual eatery that proudly lives up to its repugnant name, in a really good example of bad food marketing.  A few years ago, The Heart Attack Grill had a 575-pound unofficial spokesperson who died at the tender young age of 29, from pneumonia, and probably complications from his morbid obesity. Well, get ready, because this week another unofficial spokesman for the restaurant has died – of what else? You guessed it – a heart attack.  The late John Alleman, 52 years old, used to eat at The Heart Attack Grill EVERY DAY, and he dropped dead recently of a massive heart attack at a bus stop.

If you visit the restaurant’s website, you’ll see the disgusting facts. This business is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as having the world’s most high-calorie burger anywhere, weighing in at almost 10,000 calories. Read the facts:  On April 13th 2012 Guinness World Records presented the Heart Attack Grill with an official certificate proclaiming… “Most calorific burger Heart Attack Grill in Las Vegas includes in its menu the 1.444kg (3lb 2.94oz) Quadruple Bypass Burger packing 9,982 calories. It’s (sic) 6.91 calories per gram (195.95 calories per ounce) makes it the world’s most calorific burger as verified by Guinness World Records.”

I barely eat that many calories in a week, never mind in one huge disgusting meal.

 I’m so jaw-droppingly revolted by this restaurant and its menu that I’m speechless.

And chew on this too — they also serve French fries cooked in – are you ready? – lard.

Can you believe it?  That’s not all.  On the same insulting website, there is a “Diet Program” that proclaims, “Wow, I’ve gained 20 pounds in just two months. The Heart Attack Grill Diet really works!”

The “Media” page is as sarcastic as sarcastic can be, with lines like, “Our burgers are high fat, high calorie, high chlorestorol (sic) and high fun!” and  “Of course we’ve had heart attacks here. I wouldn’t have it any other way. We absolutely stand behind our name.” These statements come from “Doctor Jon.”

I’m purposely NOT putting a photo in this blog post, because I’m already giving this idiotic eatery too much publicity.

Their signature tag line, which features a registered trademark? They offer “a taste worth dying for.”

This “restaurant” even filed lawsuits again other restaurants that, unbelievably, were trying to imitate them! Their website states, “We also aggressively defend our original hospital theme. In March 2009 we successfully shut down the Flatline Grill for copying our hospital-hamburger theme. In May 2010 we received a federal judgment against Heart Stoppers Grill in which they were ordered to absolutely discontinue the use of our medical theme.”

This is not a joke, folks.  This is an actual “restaurant” serving up food that is intentionally designed to cause you to die.  And they laugh about it, all the way to the bank. With today’s morbid obesity having reached clinically epidemic proportions in this country, costing billions of dollars in health care costs to us ALL, opening a restaurant such as this ought to be a crime. Yet is isn’t – not in the slightest. Why is it that in this country, proven disease-causing products like cigarettes are justifiably scorned for the morbid health care results they produce, but an obscenity like this “restaurant” isn’t penalized by the government in the slightest?

Where is action by the FDA about this, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?

As far as I’m concerned, The Heart Attack Grill really presents false advertising in terms of its name.  What do I think it should REALLY be named?  The Morgue.

Leave a Reply