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Spot the difference - fish and chip shop wars over copycat menu design

PUBLISHED: 12:22 31 July 2019 | UPDATED: 13:28 31 July 2019

Alex Gold, one of the owners of Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford, is angry his menu has been stolen. Picture: Archant.

Alex Gold, one of the owners of Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford, is angry his menu has been stolen. Picture: Archant.

Archant

A fish and chip shop war has broken out after the owner of one takeaway accused a fish bar in a neighbouring town of copying his menu.

The two menus from Express Fish Bar, in Watton, and Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford. Picture: ArchantThe two menus from Express Fish Bar, in Watton, and Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford. Picture: Archant

Hamza Altunhamza has run the Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford, for the past eight years but was left playing a game of spot the difference after a customer brought in a menu from Express Fish Bar, in Watton.

The copy is so like-for-like that the customer believed Mr Altunhamza had opened another shop.

The 48-year-old said: "Express Fish Bar from Watton came down into my business and took a leaflet. I never thought much of it at the time until one of my regulars came along into the chippy telling me about the leaflet and giving me it.

"At that moment I realised what had happened. Express Fish Bar went ahead and copied my leaflet word for word and price for price.

Alex Gold, one of the owners of Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford, is angry his menu has been stolen. Picture: Archant.Alex Gold, one of the owners of Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford, is angry his menu has been stolen. Picture: Archant.

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"We even had a few locals and regulars pop in to ask whether we had a new place under management due to the leaflet."

The Croxton Fish Bar menu was originally printed in 2017 and the team have been using the same design and printers ever since.

"My sons and my nephew worked hard to design that leaflet at the time," Mr Altunhamza added, "they made it from scratch and we have been using the same design ever since."

Alex Gold, one of the owners of Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford, is angry his menu has been stolen. Picture: Archant.Alex Gold, one of the owners of Croxton Fish Bar, in Thetford, is angry his menu has been stolen. Picture: Archant.

The menus even share the same Food Hygiene Rating from the Food Standards Agency. But whereas Croxton Fish Bar does have a five star rating, Express Fish Bar only has three stars.

A Norfolk County Council Trading Standards spokesperson said: "All food premises in England are given a hygiene rating from zero to five based on factors such as kitchen cleanliness, cooking methods and food management by Environmental Health.

"In cases where a business was displaying incorrect ratings, Trading Standards would visit the food outlet to offer advice and guidance. Should that business not follow the advice given, then enforcement of consumer protection law could ultimately lead to a prosecution."

Express Fish Bar were contacted for comment.

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