Just in time for the new year, Mission Burrito has unveiled a new name—Überrito Mexican Grill—as the final step in the resolution of a trademark infringement lawsuit lodged against the Houston-based burrito chain by Mission Tortillas this year.
The part of me that loves puns loves the new name, which is fun to say (though trippy to spell), and the part of me that minored in German loves the Teutonic umlaut that's otherwise incongruous with the fast-casual Tex-Mex joint (though Texas itself is a melting pot of both Germans and Mexicans, so I'm willing to play along here). But the part of me that follows marketing and rebranding efforts for a living wonders why the burrito chain would go to all the trouble of renaming itself only to land on a name that's eerily similar to that of we're-not-a-taxi-service-taxi-company Uber.
I can't imagine that any sane person would get Uber and Überrito mixed up or imagine that the two are somehow related, so it's not another lawsuit I'm leery of. Instead, it's the tremendous amount of bad press Uber has received lately, from surge pricing during a recent hostage situation in Sydney, Australia to the revelation that the company's so-called "God View" enables its employees to spy on customers—which Uber does, just for fun. If I were running a company—even a Mexican restaurant that offers delicious burritos instead of a taxi company whose drivers are occasionally indicted for raping passengers—I wouldn't want it associated in any way, shape, or form with Uber.
Thankfully, the name is really all that's changed at Mission Burrito, ahem, Überrito. Along with its namesake burritos, the restaurant still carries its signature 10 Tasty Tacos, which are excellent for days in which you don't want to eat a burrito the size of a Schnauzer, and its supremely excellent Que Más salad, whose equivalent in the fast-casual world has yet to be met. I've been obsessed with Mission Burrito for lo these many years, so it stands to reason I'll continue to be obsessed with Überrito, name not withstanding. Eventually, one will outlast the other—Uber or Überrito—and my money's on the latter.