A Worcestershire ramen bar claims it has been forced to change its name following a trademark complaint from Gordon Ramsay Holdings.
Lucky Cat Noodle, which is run by hospitality group A Rule of Tum, said it received a legal letter from solicitors acting on behalf of Ramsay stating they owned the trademark to the name ‘Lucky Cat'.
The chef opened Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsay in London's Grosvenor Square in 2019 on the site of his former Maze restaurant.
Rule of Tum set up its pop-up ramen bar in a converted railway arch in November 2020 and began crowdfunding towards the opening a permanent restaurant site in March. It has now changed the restaurant's name to Maneki Ramen in a bid to avoid a potentially lengthy legal battle.
"This came as a complete surprise but we are actually really grateful to Gordon Ramsay for pointing this out," said head chef Pete Dovaston.
"It's made us think harder to find a name that we can be passionate about and that won't be confused with any other restaurant offering as we expand. Maneki-Neko means lucky cat, so Maneki Ramen is a fitting name to pick, holding onto our roots but also looking forward to what comes next."
The change means Rule of Tum has had to prematurely end its crowdfunding drive on Kickstarter, but is instead offering vouchers and tasting menu experiences on its website.
Maneki Ramen's first permanent restaurant is expected to open mid-June and will serve a range of ramen bowls and Japanese side dishes.
Dovaston thanked the crowdfund's backers for their support, adding: "We can promise that we will make ourselves known by the quality of our food, no matter what we are called!"
The team said they are sending Ramsay a voucher for the new restaurant.
Gordon Ramsay Restaurants has been contacted for comment.