Celebrity chef's 'genius' Bunnings sausage scheme

Kristine Tarbert
·Senior Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
·4-min read

MasterChef alumn Adam Liaw has caused a stir on social media with a slightly controversial but potentially genius Bunnings sausage sizzle epiphany.

The celebrity chef took to Twitter to reveal what he had discovered about the famed Bunnings Sausage Sizzle after looking into the Aussie hardware store’s trademarks.

Masterchef winner Adam Liaw
Adam Liaw might be getting into the Bunnings sausage sizzle trade. Photo: Getty

“I would like to apologise to everyone who is waiting on outstanding work product from me, but it's Friday afternoon and I ran out of steam so instead I decided to do a trademark search to work out if it would be legal to open a sausage restaurant called ‘Bunnings’,” he wrote.

The ensuing Twitter thread goes on to explain his ‘findings’, after all, Adam graduated with a double degree in Science and Law from the University of Adelaide at 21 and worked for a firm in technology, commercial, corporate law, business advisory and international trade before his rise to cooking stardom.

After explaining that Bunnings’ trademarks cover ‘building materials’, ‘construction and repair services’, and ‘retail services for hardware’, he then pointed out the registration does not cover ‘meat products’, ‘bread products’, or ‘services for providing food and drink’.

“The sausage sizzles you get when you go to Bunnings are provided by the various organisations that Bunnings provides space to for THEM to conduct a sausage sizzle,” he continued. “There is no Bunnings branding or income associated with the sale and purchase of delicious sausages in bread.

“You could literally open a shop, call it Bunnings, and sell delicious sausages every day of the week and one of the largest retail enterprises in the country would be powerless to stop you. End.”

adam liaw twitter bunnings trademark
Adam Liaw took a deep dive into the Bunnings sausage sizzle. Photo: Twitter

Given the community love for the popular snag it’s no surprise plenty of his followers loved the idea, with many dubbing it ‘genius’ and ‘brilliant’.

“Waiting for Adam Liaw to open his chain of sausage sizzle shops called Bunnings,” one eager fan commented.

And even people with their own legal backgrounds seemed intrigued.

“Can I just say, as someone who’s about to start a Masters of IP, this pleases me so much,” was another response.

While a third person tweeted: “Everyone in my office of IP lawyers is now debating the merits of this theoretical scenario rather than doing our actual work. Thanks for the distraction.”

Bunnings charity barbie (Australian slang for BBQ) outside of its stores have been associated with the brand. The charity event occurs on the weekends
Plenty of people loved the idea of a Bunnings sausage restaurant. Photo: Getty

Funnily enough, it seems someone already had the same idea - although to a much smaller scale - in Bali.

At least two people shared this same photo with Adam of someone in Bali selling snags from a ‘Bunnings Sausage Sizzle’ stand on the side of the road.

bunnings sausage sizzle bali
The Bali version of a Bunnings Sausage Sizzle. Photo: Twitter

A few however were not so keen on the iconic offering being medalled with.

“If that were to occur, that would be the most un-Australian business swipe of all time,” one person responded adding the hashtag #handsoffbunningssausagesizzle.

And a few others pointed out potential flaws in the chef’s plan.

“Hi Adam. BUNNINGS is a famous mark in Australia and those marks have separate protection under the Trade Marks Act. See 120(3). Your plan is great, but would still infringe! There is also the Australian Consumer Law,” was one response.

While another person wrote: “With all due respect, I suggest you consult Section 18 of the Business Names Registration Act 2011 (Cth).”

bunnings sausage sizzle
A few weren't too keen on messing with the iconic sausage sizzle. Photo: Getty

Bunnings Australia has been contacted for comment.

Adam Liaw's 'controversial' sausage sizzle hack goes viral

It’s not the first time Adam has made headlines when it comes to the infamous sausage sizzle.

Late last year he shared a 'controversial' yet slightly ‘genius’ sausage sizzle hack that had his fans eager to try it themselves.

“My favourite (if controversial) summer barbecue hack is to buy a half loaf of bread and get them to run it through the slicer lengthways instead of sideways,” he posted on Twitter at the time.

“It produces a sausage-sized piece of bread that makes for perfect ‘sausage in bread’. You’re welcome.”

The Tweet was liked by thousands, with many dubbing it ‘genius’ and game-changing. One fan even thought the Aussie chef should be named ‘Australian of the year’.

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