A New York man claims in a proposed class action that Bareburger Group LLC misrepresents its restaurants as being “organic” when not all the products on the menu are actually certified as organic.
According to the suit, the defendant operates at least 47 Bareburger restaurants and prominently displays the word “organic” on storefronts, signs, menus, and marketing materials, leading reasonable consumers to believe that all the products sold in the restaurants are organic. For example, the beef patties on the menu are described as “organic grass-fed burgers” made from an “organic blend,” the case says.
The lawsuit claims, however, that despite these representations, Bareburger restaurants use “countless” non-organic ingredients in their food, unbeknownst to customers. In fact, the case says, the eateries’ executives reportedly admitted that the beef used to make burgers is only 75 to 80 percent organic and is not marked with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “certified organic” seal.
The plaintiff argues that the defendant’s conduct was meant to mislead consumers into paying a higher price for food they believe is of better quality than non-organic alternatives.
“Defendant deliberately promoted and continues to promote its non-organic menu options in a deceptive way to obtain the premium prices consumers are willing to pay, based on the fact that some of the menu items are actually organic,” the complaint reads.
The lawsuit claims the defendant “has not taken adequate steps” to distinguish between organic and non-organic ingredients on menus or maintain the integrity of its organic ingredients by storing them on separate shelves.
“Reasonable consumers rely on the company to truthfully disclose the organic status of the foods it sells, because consumers are unable to look behind the curtain,” the complaint states. “Consumers were deceived into believing that the Products of defendant were all organic and would not know the true nature of the ingredients merely by reading the description.”
The lawsuit claims customers were tricked into paying a premium price for the defendant’s food, allowing Bareburger to “realize large profits” across all of its locations.