10 Shockingly Racist Moments in Restaurant History

Terrible as Taco Bell’s logo was, it wasn’t half as bad as this chain’s everything…


Taco Bell may have been racist, but it wasn’t anywhere as bad as the now-defunct chain known as Sambo’s. The chain’s name was actually a portmanteau of the two owner’s names. Unfortunately, they didn’t really think of the connotations behind the term when they started in the 50s.

Sambo, as many people know, is a term for African Americans that alludes to the old stereotypes of being lazy, ignorant, foolish, and unable to keep out of trouble. The restaurant’s themes during the 60s weren’t much better.

The original pancake house mascot was named “Little Black Sambo,” and the restaurant’s platters included “Mama Mumbo” and “Papa Jumbo.” After numerous complaints, the logo featuring “Little Black Sambo” was replaced with a young Indian child with a tiger.