'Extremely Racist': Internet Isn't Happy About Whole Foods' 'Yellow Fever' Restaurant

Whole Foods faces backlash for 'Yellow Fever' restaurant

However, after #Whole Foods received backlash for being home to the establishment's third location, it's apparent the name is "memorable" for the wrong reasons.

Aside from bowl meals, Kim said the ugly egg rolls are also the restaurant's bestseller.

Overall, she said she felt "pretty comfortable" with the fact that Whole Foods 'knew what we were all about'.

After opening their first location in late 2013, the husband-wife duo gained enough traction to open an additional two locations.

Earlier this week, Whole Foods opened a new Asian-themed restaurant called "Yellow Fever" at one of their Long Beach, California locations - and Twitter immediately pointed out how racist the name was.

With its tagline "Asian bowls for your soul", Yellow Fever boasts customized meals inspired by different cultures.

People on social media took notice of the eatery's name, with several people criticizing it for its offensive undertones.

Nearly immediately, the public made connections that owner Kelly Kim never did. Primarily affecting Africa, the mosquito-borne infection earned its name from the virus's jaundice hemorrhage. Robicelli mused. "By Googling 'Yellow Fever'".

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Company branding materials provided to BuzzFeed News acknowledge the name's associations but say the restaurant aims to instead "embrace the term and reinterpret it positively for ourselves". This fascination is damaging to the people it targets. She said she chose to get into the restaurant business herself when she realized that nobody else seemed to be serving the kinds of mixed bowls she had been preparing for herself, and that she wanted to make a restaurant that wasn't tied to a particular cuisine, but more like "the Asian version of Chipotle".

Asian-American and white customers alike have come to support her, she said, and business has been good at her new location, with no protests or backlash so far. Both of these stereotypes either result in or are the result of yellow fever.

One woman tweeted in response: "Is there no one in your corporate cocoon to tell you what a toxic idea this racist name was?"

According to Kim, Yellow Fever's name was not a problem before Wednesday's opening.

Reports cited her interview from six months back, when she told Asian American news site NextShark, "One night, we just said 'Yellow Fever!' and it worked".

"I never took [the name] to a have deeper meaning...." "It's a little tongue in cheek, but I never saw it as offensive or racist or anti-feminist".

Critics took issue after news broke of the restaurant's partnership with Whole Foods, highlighting that the restaurant's name is a term that has a problematic history. She says she was never fully in contact with Korean of "Asian" food, and made a decision to present it in a more familiar way to the United States consumers, just as she did growing up.

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