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Complaint against ‘no doggy bag’ restaurant

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Johannesburg -

A restaurant that has a “no doggy bag” policy and claims to have the best steaks on the East Rand has been ordered to withdraw an advert for breaching an advertising code.

Lionel Schultz lodged a complaint against Parrots Restaurant and Coffee Shop in Boksburg in September after it published an advertisement saying the shop had the “best steaks in the East Rand as voted by consumers” and “No doggy bags”.

In his submission to the Advertising Standards Authority, Schultz said the restaurant's policy of no doggy bags infringed on consumers' rights to take home what had not been consumed, as people pay for an entire meal.

Schultz further submitted that the advert made a false claim and that there was no indication of any quantitative research being undertaken.

Parrots Restaurant contended that it was its prerogative to state whichever terms and conditions it felt comfortable with, with regard to the issue of the doggy bag.

It said the best steak claim was true and accurate as all its customers had said so.

Despite not having jurisdiction to hear the doggy bag case, the ASA on January 13 said it noted the complainant's concern about the policy but pointed out that Schultz was aware, through the restaurant's advertising, that he would not be allowed to take his uneaten food home even before he visited the facility.

“Based on the above, the (ASA) directorate will therefore not deal with this issue in this ruling as it does not fall within its mandate.”

The ASA said the claim “best steaks in the East Rand as voted by consumers” implied that an independent survey was undertaken.

“The respondent has however not submitted any suitable documentation to support the claim. The directorate has no choice but to conclude that the claim is unsubstantiated...

“The complaint is upheld in this regard.”

The ASA ordered that the advertisement and claim be withdrawn with immediate effect. - Sapa


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