My restaurant rip-off: The Meat & Wine Co battles copycat overseas restaurant

My restaurant rip-off: The Meat & Wine Co battles copycat overseas restaurant

The Meat & Wine Co in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Popular restaurant chain The Meat & Wine Co is embroiled in a legal dispute with a restaurant in Malaysia, which it claims has copied its business.

The Meat & Wine Co opened last month in Kuala Lumpur using the same name, logo and signage as the Australian chain of steak restaurants The Meat & Wine Co.

The Meat & Wine Co was established in 2000 and has four restaurants in Sydney and Melbourne.

It has trademarked the name The Meat & Wine Co and its logo in Australia. 

It is part of the same business group as The Meat Co in South Africa, the Middle East and the United Kingdom.

Steven Kastoun, chief financial officer of The Meat & Wine Co in Australia, told SmartCompany he only discovered the rip off on the night the restaurant opened.

“The images, the logo are identical to ours. They have even used the same red line under the o in the logo,” he says.

“It’s frustrating that we put in so much money to develop a brand and they just copy it. We already have an international presence, which is why we have trademarked the logo and names.”

READ MORE: How to stick it to brand thieves and protect your intellectual property

Kastoun called and emailed the restaurant asking it to stop using the name and to change its logo.

He also contacted the restaurant through social media with no success.

So last week The Meat & Wine Co instructed its lawyers to initiate legal proceedings against The Meat & Wine Co in Malaysia if the signage is not removed within seven days.

That deadline expires tomorrow.

Kastoun says he is concerned about damage to his business’ reputation if the copycat restaurant is not stopped.

“They are doing stuff to the brand that we would never do. They have Guinness-flavoured popcorn. They are putting a tacky approach to our brand,” he says.

This is not the first time The Meat & Wine Co has had to pursue a copycat restaurant after discovering by chance an imitator in Spain also using its name and logo.

“What is frustrating is that it is an expensive process, the only people benefiting from this are the lawyers,” he says.

“I was hoping we could have an amicable resolution.”

SmartCompany contacted The Meat & Wine Co in Kuala Lumpur but did not receive a response prior to publication.

The Meat & Wine Co, Australian version

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