After 13 years in Savannah and a year after opening in Atlanta to Nextdoor message board drama over the slogan “Shit Yeah”, Zunzi’s Takeout & Catering sandwich shop has changed its name to just Zunzi’s on Howell Mill Road.
As to why the Buckhead restaurant made the change, owner Chris Smith says it came down to people misunderstanding Zunzi’s wasn’t only takeout food.
Smith writes in a lengthy social media post, “people driving by [on Howell Mill] thought we were only “Takeout & Catering” and decided to pass on trying us because they wanted to sit down inside! I thought big windows with bright lights showing tables and chairs would communicate that, but I was wrong!”
Unlike the Savannah shop, which sees a fair amount of foot traffic from tourists in the city’s historic district, Howell Mill Road is typically choked with cars heading to and from I-75. While tables and chairs inside are clearly visible from the road through the large windows, not to mention a small patio featuring tables with rainbow umbrellas, it apparently wasn’t enough to assure customers of proper seating at the restaurant.
The front of the building also now displays big, bold graphics describing Zunzi’s menu: South African-inspired sandwiches, wraps, and bowls. Smith claims that within ten minutes of installing the banners out front, five people walked into the restaurant to inquire about the menu.
As for the “Shit Yeah” drama from last summer, it turned out to be nothing more than a few concerned residents who didn’t quite get the premise behind Zunzi’s decade-plus-old motto.
Smith installed a poster at the entrance, just in case, explaining the restaurant’s mission and its eye-catching phrase. Some employees even refer to “Shit Yeah” sauce as “SY” sauce when reading back orders to customers.
“It’s really simple. “Shit Yeah” is our promise to our customers that we hope they’ve had such a great experience, they leave saying, ‘Shit yeah!’”, Smith told Eater Atlanta last June. “If they’re not saying that, we need to know so we can make it right.”
Zunzi’s most popular sandwiches include the fully-loaded Conquistador with chicken, Romaine, and tomato dressed with SY sauce and Zunzi’s dressing and Godfather with chicken, two kinds of sausage, provolone, Romaine, tomato, and parmesan topped with marinara, SY sauce, and Zunzi’s dressing. Both are served on French bread.