Healthy fast food chain Leon is seeking legal advice after accusing Jenson Button’s new restaurant of copying its menu and branding.
Leon co-founder and chef Henry Dimbleby claims Victus in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, is a “copycat” of his 11-strong restaurant chain in London, and has duplicated “lots” of his dishes.
He posted a picture of the F1 driver’s offending menu on Twitter, adding: “They have ripped off all of our design too! Schumbags (sic).”
He then wrote a message to Button saying: “Imitation and flattery and all that. But it’s a bit barmy, no...”
In another tweet, he said he had just spoken to Robot Food, the brand agency that had designed Button’s menu, who denied copying Leon and apparently claimed that "all coffee shops have menus like that”.
He then began discussing the possibility of legal action, and said he might consult an IP lawyer to look into the case.
A blogger, introduced by a friend as a ‘design infringement specialist’, told Dimbleby: “In my opinion there are similarities, use of particular images, the general feel of the site. Victus is more basic.
“You could also see if there are menu similarities to back up the inspiration taken from your design.”
“They have copied lots of our menu too,” replied Dimbleby.
The cook then began trying to drum up press coverage, telling one magazine: “I’ll give you a juicy quote if you run a story on it. Outrageous, no?”
He later added: "Eeek! Victus have told me their lawyers will be in touch. But I'm making grouse stock tonight."
Button opened Victus last week. The restaurant serves "grazing dishes" like falafel, crayfish noodle salad, meatball sliders, and the spicy pulled pork chilli "hot meal box".
The McLaren driver apparently got the inspiration for the menu from his interest in foreign cuisines formed while globetrotting on the F1 circuit. He said it combines "all my favourite elements of dining out with friends - tasty food, great atmosphere and friendly staff" and hopes to roll it out into a national chain.
Neither Victus or Robot Food were immediately available for comment.
What do you think? Any similarities in the two menus below....?
Leon's lunch menu - served from 11am...
Victus' lunch menu - served from 11am...