Internet Roasts Burger Chain for Inexplicably Covering Tables with Grass

The sustainability-focused Australian chain Grill’d thought the vegetation would be a hit, but the internet thought it was messy and twee.

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Nov 13 2018, 5:00pm

Image via Instagram user @browncardigan

As brands and restaurants compete ever more feverishly to be the buzziest (or most photographed, most on-trend, most Instagrammed, et cetera), things seem to devolve into the more and more ridiculous. That’s resulted in cornflakes becoming “Veganic Sprouted Ancient Grain Flakes;” chickpeas becoming pumpkin pie hummus; and plates being replaced with cans of Spam, egg cartons, boxes of popcorn, and all manner of monstrosities on r/WeWantPlates.

Now, the humble restaurant table has metamorphosed.

A Melbourne location of Australian burger joint Grill’d is getting roasted online after an image of one of its grass-covered tables got considerable attention on Instagram.

The picture shows an outdoor restaurant table covered with a sheet of sod. (I’m not sure if this makes it better or worse, but the grass, yellowing in patches as though it needs some Miracle-Gro, is obviously real.) On the grass is a pitcher of napkins and a small sign that says “Motherlovers choose freerange. #beamotherlover.” The rest of the grass covers the area where you place your plates, utensils, and drinks.

If you, like me, never lost the compulsive childhood urge to pull pieces of grass out of the ground whenever you’re sitting on it, this table covering will not bode well for the quality of your dinner. I much prefer lettuce as the roughage on my burgers, thank you very much.

Grill’d describes itself as “burgers from a better place,” listing on its website a big focus on sustainability, sourcing, and Mother Earth (i.e., the mother getting the loving). According to Grill’d, “motherloving”—a name that should maybe have gone through a few more focus groups first—entails “giving [Mother Earth] a fistbump” but also “eating from farm to fingers.”

When asked why they did it, a representative from Grill'd explained in an email to MUNCHIES, "The grass tables are just a healthy reminder of where our produce really comes from."

The tag #beamotherlover, if combined with a picture of Grill’d burger, appears to enter participants in a contest to win ten free burger vouchers. The photos in the tag are endearingly cheesy, showing a pair of hands making a heart in front of a burger.

The rest of Instagram has proven to not be a kind audience for the grass table. The photo caption reads, in part, “Melbourne. What the fuck is wrong with you? We get it. You are the brains-trust capital of Australia for self-gratifying, capitalist ethics. Can you please stop trying to one up yourselves? When does it become the sustainability olympics?”

In the comments, a one user wrote, “Hahaha this kinda shit is another reason not to move to Melbs.”

In case you might have forgotten, Melbourne also birthed truly the most iconic terrible Instagram food: the avolatte. If that makes its way onto a grass table, I think my head will explode.