A man has been charged with deception after restaurants were asked to pay £19 a time for certificates of merit from an organisation calling itself the Good Restaurant Guide.
Alistair Leslie Woods, 41, appeared at Waltham Forest Magistrates Court this week. He is charged with seven specimen counts of obtaining property by deception. The sums involved range from £19 to £39.
Woods, of Cheneys Road, Leytonstone, east London, denies the charges.
He was remanded on bail until 24 August. The surety was set at £2,000 and Woods was also required to surrender his passport.
Restaurants across the UK received letters at the end of June saying they had been assessed and chosen for inclusion in the Good Restaurant Guide, which a firm calling itself Saga Publishing claimed to be producing (Caterer, 2 July, page 9).
All the restaurants had received high rankings and were told they would get a free listing. But they were encouraged to pay £19 for certificates of merit and £10 for extra copies.
The guide is not connected with Kent-based Saga Publishing Ltd, nor with the Good Food Guide, produced by the Consumers' Association.