The Brexit Burger is London’s latest bad-idea burger. First there was the Trump-inspired “MAGA Burger”: an attention-seeking monstrosity that Covent Garden diner Maxwell’s was slated for over the summer. Now, Steakout, a London chain, unveils its own current affairs-trivialising creation that spectacularly misses the mark.
To “help Britons count down to the Brexit Deadline,” Steakout (which has branches in Tooting, Norbury, Harrow, Southall and Stratford) will offer the burger and French fries for £12.95 from December 1 until March 29, 2019 — the date the U.K. is set to leave the E.U. Described as a “deliciously topsy-turvy concoction of cultures,” it consists of a British beef patty, “neutral” Swiss cheese, burger sauce, lettuce from Spain and a brioche bun that is, inexplicably, served upside down. Twitter was quick to pour scorn on the idea.
This is the stupidest thing I've seen today. pic.twitter.com/CIWrd9BCBv— Emily G (@CuriouslyEmily) November 26, 2018
“I’m actually apolitical but I thought it was time to push some fun at this crazy situation,” Steakout founder Kaysor Ali was quoted in the press release as saying. “I’m a proud Briton but I can’t wait for all this uncertainty to be over — in the meantime, let’s all relax and have a [sic] upside down politically topsy-turvy burger.” The Brexit Burger comes on a specially designed Union Flag-decorated placemat.
The photo of the Brexit Burger in the press release is near-identical to one of the “Mac ‘N’ Cheese Burger” the chain posted on Instagram in October, inviting followers to submit theories as to why the bun is upside down.
Mr Ali, who said he “didn’t have a vote” in the referendum, later told Eater that “it was just a random thought, to be honest with you,” and that he thought it would be “funny”. He said that he had run the idea for the burger past his external PR, who “loved it”, and insisted he was not “trivialising” the issue. Although he described himself as “laid-back” about Brexit, he said that the political climate had already started to affect business at Steakout. “We’ve seen the cost of ingredients go up. It’s a very serious issue. But there’s not much we can do is there, really? You need to be able to adapt to the change.”
Leaving aside the incoherence of its execution, whether or not London restaurant-goers will take kindly to a burger than makes light of a deal that ends the freedom of movement that has enriched the industry beyond measure, that will prohibit the entry of fresh talent, that could close up to 20% of UK restaurants, and looks set to make ingredients prohibitively expensive and complex to import, remains to be seen.