The class action lawsuit, filed in 2010 by Michael Grace of Somerdale, New Jersey, has been certified. It claims that TGI Friday's excludes beverage prices on its menus as a "bait and switch"tactic to exploit and manipulate customers. The lawsuit alleges the restaurant chain is in violation of the New Jersey state Consumer Fraud Act.
According to the lawsuit, the practice of not printing the drink prices on its menus not only encourages patrons to make impulse-driven decisions and forces them to interact with waitstaff to glean such information; it also helps the chain charge excessive prices or charge different prices for the same product depending on where the beverage is ordered in the restaurant.
"Defendant charged more than objectively reasonable prices for its beverages and set those prices in bad faith,"the complaint states. "Defendants' prices reflect the reality that consumers that are fully informed with price information will trade down and save money whereas customers without price information will make purchases based on presumptions of reasonableness."
In the complaint, Grace claims he ordered a mixed drink at an Evesham, New Jersey, TGI Friday's on September 30 and said the $10.39 cost of the beverage exceeded a reasonable price for the item.
The lawsuit seeks to represent a class of people who purchased items at TGI Friday's locations in New Jersey from July 14 onward that didn't have a disclosed price. The lawsuit also alleges breach of contract and unjust enrichment on the part of the defendants.
The case is Grace v. TGI Friday's Inc. et al., case number 1:14-cv-07233, in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.