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Keeping within the Consumer Law in Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes.

  /    /  Keeping within the Consumer Law in Pubs, Restaurants and Cafes.

Clearly, you must trade fairly with your customers.  The law demands this and, after all, it’s only fair.  To do so, you must provide information to your customers about process and descriptions of the things that you sell them.  This allows them to make an ‘informed decision’ about making purchases for food, drinks and goods for sale.

The Unfair Trading Regulations of 2008 removed specific requirements about the pricing of food and drink, but DO require you to provide important information that may affect your customer’s choice of purchase.  In order to make this choice, they should be able to make an ‘informed’ decision.

This is the ‘information’ that you need to provide them in order to comply:

Main Characteristics of the Product:

For drink, this will be an accurate description of what it is and may include the brand name.  For any drink over 1.2% ABV it must state the alcohol content, either on the bottle or can or elsewhere.

For food, this will be the name of the food and should include a sufficient description of the item, or dish, for a customer to make an informed choice.


The price should include any VAT and ANY additional service or other charge that is to be included in the sale and supply of that product.


This includes the size of the drink in metric, unless sold by the pint, or in the case of food the specific portion size.


Care must be taken when using brand names.

AS an example:  A ‘Bacardi and Coke’ means exactly that, and not another brand of white rum and mixer.

Bacardi is a brand name.  Similarly “Coke” is a registered trademark and a term of reference/ shorthand for the product “Coca-Cola”.

Conversely Cola is a sweetened, carbonated soft drink flavoured with vanilla, cinnamon, citrus oils and other flavourings.  It is not a brand name.

If you are not strictly serving ‘Bacardi and Coke’, you may be best representing it to your customers as ‘Rum and Cola’.  They will know what you mean and what it is, and consequently be able to make an ‘informed’ decision – and they will probably buy it anyway.

☝️ If you supply a different brand to that advertised or requested by the customer, or what is shown on the label or optic, you may find yourself prosecuted by Trading Standards.  Obviously if the alternative product is of a cheaper price or lower quality, this will be an aggravating factor in the opinion of the officer(s) and Court.  The brand owner’s lawyers might also want to correspond with you after any such allegations too.

✍️ Why not take some time out to check that what you’re advertising, and what you’re selling, actually match?

✅ The Licensing Guys can help you with this…

Case of Mistaken Identity?  Better Call Paul!

Our advice is always free.