Restaurants sued over credit card promo

COLUMBUS Ohio Potbelly Sandwich Works and La Bamba Mexican Restaurants have been sued by Ohio attorney general Marc Dann for participating in a credit card promotion that allegedly violated the state’s Consumer Sales Practices Act.

Two lawsuits were filed against both restaurant companies. Also named as defendants were Citibank and Campus Dimensions, a Pennsylvania promotions company.

According to the suits, fliers posted on the campus of Ohio State University here promised students a free burrito at La Bamba or a free sandwich and beverage at Potbelly. The attorney general asserts the fliers did not mention that students only got the food if they applied for a Citibank-issued credit card or listened to a three-minute promotion.

Ramiro Aguas, a partner in Champaign, Ill.-based La Bamba, said his attorney advised him not to comment on the matter.

Potbelly’s attorney, Matt Revord, similarly declined to comment except to say, “We are a sandwich company, not a credit card company, and we will work through it."

The lawsuits resulted from a partnership between the attorney general’s office and third-year law students at Ohio State’s Moritz College of Law.

La Bamba has 27 fast-casual restaurants in five states. Chicago-based Potbelly has around 160 units in 10 states.