Call a Chick
Deliverymen wait at a "Call a Chick" store in Shanghai, China REUTERS/Stringer

A fried chicken eatery chain is facing investigation by China's market watchdog over its sexually suggestive name and menu. The Shanghai Daily reported on Tuesday (22 November) that the Shanghai-based eatery named Call A Chick has been put under watch for probable violations of social order – that damage public order or violate ethical standards.

Chick or chicken is used as slang for prostitutes in the local language and the eatery reportedly dishonored the social order by using the word in its name. The restaurant has also included slangs in its menu for food items such as spring chicken, which is called "virgin chick", chicken drumstick's have been named "having sex with her" and "chick's sex partner" for beverages, among others.

The slogan of the fried chicken eatery that has over 40 branches across Shanghai read, "Satisfying all your expectations over chicks" and the chain sent a card with takeaway food that stated: "The secret of a man who has sex 10 times a night".

Reports suggested that the eatery was first criticised in Sichuan Province after a woman complained to the media that the sexually explicit content of the chain embarrassed her as her eight-year-old son kept asking her for the meaning of "call a chick".

However, the signboard of the outlet in Chengdu – where the woman had dined – was dismantled and the menu was changed after local urban management authorities order the restaurant to do so.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said that it had launched an investigation on Monday into complaints of possible violation of social order. "The content involved could violate social order," Li Hua, deputy director of the advertisement department of the bureau said.

Chinese law ban advertisements that damage public order or violate ethical standards and anyone defying them can face fines of up to 1 million yuan ($145,135) and have their business licence revoked.

However, the Call A Chick restaurant said in a social media post over the weekend that it had been targeting 18 to 28-year-old clients. It accepted that its markets had changed and the language in its marketing and menu were no longer appropriate and had been fixed.

The restaurant apologised to all customers who were offended by the "ill-suited" language.