Thursday, April 15

Yum! Brands Apologized to DFW Vietnamese Community and to change logo for Banh Shop

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By Asia World Media

Cultural Awareness shocked the YUM! Brands and set off changes to their new Banh Shop in Dallas, Texas.

After the outcry from Dallas Vietnamese Community, YUM! Brands, including Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut and now Banh Shop, apologized to the Vietnamese Community and to change the red star logo on their new Banh Shop.

Mr. Thanh Cung, President of the Vietnamese-American Community of Greater Dallas, started a petition (Yum! Brands Banh Shop Logo Change) few days ago that explain the offensive and insensitive of Banh Shop’s red star logo which represent “Communism” and to make the change.

“While we are very pleased with the name of the restaurant, we are hurt and offended by your chosen logo, a red star, which is a symbol of communism and will offend thousands of South Vietnamese refugees in my community,” Mr. Cung wrote. “The heavy majority of Vietnamese living in the Dallas area are political and religious refugees who fled Vietnam when North Vietnamese communist rule started in 1975.”

YUM! Brand immediately send out an apology statement:
“On behalf of all of us at YUM, please accept our sincere apology to you and to the Vietnamese community for unintentionally offending you with the logo of Banh Shop,” said Mr. Blum. “We have the greatest respect for the Vietnamese people and culture.  It was never our intent to offend anyone, but we see we have made a mistake and in hindsight, we should have recognized this logo could be offensive.”

YUM! Brand’s Banh Shop, which recently opened across Dallas, TX, featured the name of their restaurant, named after a popular Vietnamese sandwich, and have a logo against a five-pointed red star with the saying “Saigon Street Food” (Saigon is the former name of Vietnam’s largest city, now also know as Ho Chi Minh City).  The red star symbolized for ‘Communism’ and it stirred up dramatic and sad memories among the Vietnamese community, especially those affected by the Vietnam War.

Many of Dallas Vietnamese are parents who left and risk everything to escaped the turmoil from the war.  Some of their kids feel the emotional scar that haunt their parents. “As Vietnamese-Americans, we should not be ignorant of what our parents and grandparents and many Vietnam veterans went through during the Vietnam war to give us the freedom we have today in America,” said Mr. Tran, whose parents emigrated here from Vietnam. “Changing the logo would respect people who don’t want to relive that past.”

YUM! Brands spoke person said that they will, effective immediately, change the logo and remove the red star from all materials and signage at all their Banh Shop.

Jonathan Blum, who heads public affairs and nutrition for Yum! Brands (YUM), reached out to and apologized to the Vietnamese community today.  “That will happen by end of day today,” said Mr. Blum. “We will design a new logo, and would greatly appreciate your reviewing it, along with other aspects of this restaurant, before we make a final decision.”

“We hope you can let others know of our sincere apology for the mistake we have made and the actions we are taking to address it,” stated Mr. Blum.

“I’m so proud to be a Vietnamese-American and proud of those who spoke up for #BanhShopLogoChange. This is what freedom of speech is all about and why America is so beautiful. This would never happen in Vietnam,” said Nikki Duong Koenig, a Dallas Vietnamese resident.

Nikkiand Cung with YUM

Left to Right: Nikki Duong Koenig, Thanh Cung, and VP of emerging brands of Yum! Brands Christophe Poirier