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Copycat brands continue to cause frustration

A shadow that continues to hang over the curry industry is the so-called ‘copycat culture’, where restaurants use the names of other well-established restaurant brands. Amongst those adversely impacted by this underhand practice is Bombay Brasserie, Le Raj, Tamarind, Jaipur, Lasan, Dabbawal, and Cinnamon Club amongst many others, some had to contend with other restaurants trading with similar or identical names and logos.

This is unfair on businesses who have worked hard to get to the top of their sector, only to find others trying to capitalize on their efforts. According to Jeffrey Ali, co-founder of The British Curry Awards,” This practice is unwelcome and creates divisions in our industry. We need to be united if we are to achieve our goals and show to Government that we are an industry they have to listen to and take notice of. If we are seen to be at odds with each other, nobody will take us seriously.”

Sorting this out in the past has cost a lot of time and money but the Government has in recent times introduced a new Intellectual Property mediation service. This aims to get faster justice for those who have been impacted, although despite this initiative there are still people out there who will copy to gain an unfair advantage.

Recently Spice Business was informed that a customer in London ordered from one of the online platforms, but his order was directed to another restaurant of same name in Scotland. When the customer turned up to collect his meal at the London restaurant he was understandably frustrated to learn about the confusion from the restaurant manager.

Akmal Hussain, manager of Le Raj Restaurant in Epsom, Surrey said, “It upsets restaurateurs having to deal with this unnecessary situation in these difficult Covid-19 times when everyone seems to be on the edge. We have to severely criticize all those restaurants copying our reputable brand name simply to cash in on its legacy. Action must be taken to name and shame those who are copying reputable brand names and damaging them.”