It was one of the first Miami mysteries of 2019.
Earlier this month, the folks at Pincho Factory were asking for the public’s help on social media over something strange that they said happened.
A post on the fast casual chain’s Twitter showed a picture of a sign that just reads “Pincho.”
“A few days ago, someone removed the word ‘FACTORY’ from the sign at our Hialeah location in the middle of the night,” reads the caption. “We are not sure why, but if you or anyone you know has any information about who did this, please reach out to us.”
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The family-owned chain is known for its pinchos, aka small dishes, as well as premium burgers. They are currently touting a “Hangover Burger,” an all natural patty, topped with cheese, caramelized onions, potato sticks and a fried egg.
Some users were quick to chime in on the situation, with a touch of humor:
“It was Pitbull. He needs it for his new album. Dale!” wrote one user.
“They’ll steal the gold out of your teeth down here,” commented another. “I will be on the lookout for any new businesses with the name ‘FACTORY’ in it.”
Another posted a picture of the Cheesecake Factory sign with the caption “Found it.”
Two days later, on Jan. 4, another tweet informed followers that the sign at the Flagler location was “vandalized.” The caption on the pic of the changed facade partially read, “Are you serious?”
That’s when people began to get hip to the situation:
“This is either a solid rebranding effort to ‘Pincho’ or a hit job by a competitor. My guess is the former. Bye bye ‘Factory,’” wrote a Twitter user.
Another commenter wrote: “If it wasn’t obvious before now it is. Asking followers to identify the thief was a bit much though. I hope no one spent alot of time on that.”
No mystery person had been stealing the lettering, after all. The removals were apparently a marketing ploy in an effort to rebrand a la Dunkin’ Donuts. That chain is now know as just Dunkin’.
A resourceful user even found a copy of the trademark agreement and posted a copy, with the caption, “Spoiler alert.”
On Twitter Monday morning the restaurant posted an elaborate, artsy video showing a graffiti artist spraying a wall that says, “We are not a Factory.”
There you have it: The restaurant founded in 2010 will now be referred to as plainly Pincho (they prefer upper case letters).
“From our remodeled restaurants to our new look, vibe and delicious menu, our new branding is one of many things we are doing as part of our mission to magnify the PINCHO experience for our fans,” confirmed Jayson Tipp, chief executive to Restaurant News Monday. “Our brand was built on hard work, food crafted from scratch and made to order with love. We believe this evolution will communicate our brand values, business goals, and relatability to our guests now more than ever.”