TGI Fridays Is Being Dragged To Court Over A Ten-Dollar Drink "Hidden" From Its Menu
TGI Fridays has been a hallmark of American dining for almost 50 years. But, if you're anything like me, it's not the first place you think about for getting drinks with friends, mainly because you stopped wanting overpriced fishbowls of blue alcohol the day after your 21st birthday. However, some people don't ever stop wanting that kind of party, and one of them is pretty angry. A New Jersey man, Michael Grace, is suing TGI Fridays for not listing drink prices on their menu, saying he was suckered into buying a drink for $10.39 because nobody told him how much the drink cost.
According to court documents, Grace alleges that by not including certain drink prices on its menu, Friday's is encouraging impulse purchases. He alleges that in order to manipulate customers, they charge “slightly excessive prices on some drinks without losing sales” while “charging grossly excessive prices on other drinks." According to the suit, marketing drinks without indicating their cost on the menu violates New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act.
The lawsuit alleges Friday's also does something called, "menu engineering," which basically means they deliberately construct their menus to manipulate customers to make certain decisions — which, if we're being honest, I kind of thought all restaurants did anyway.
But wait, there's more. The lawsuit also says that anyone who purchased a drink, alcoholic or not, from a New Jersey location on or after July 14, 2014 may be entitled to a $100 civil penalty for each drink purchased, meaning you and your friends could make some serious bank if you happened to celebrate your 21st birthday there recently.
Friday's is, as you might understand, seriously freaking out over this, because should a judge rule in Grace's favor, the payouts could exceed $5 million dollars. And, to make matters worse, this isn't the first time they've been under fire for shifty bar behavior. In July 2013, the owner of eight Friday's locations — also in New Jersey — paid $500,000 after being accused of selling low-grade alcohol as top shelf brands.
But, before you start freaking out over some kind of crazy New Jersey Friday's scam circle, it's probably best to wait this one out and see what the courts have to say. According to a report from TheDrinksBusiness.com, the chain denies engaging in any risky behavior, and plans to fight the allegations. Can't say I blame them. That is a whole lot of money.
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