Several major chain restaurants, including Applebee's, Olive Garden and Red Lobster, have been named in a lawsuit filed in New York City over their alleged deceptive billing practices.
According to reporting conducted by "CBS This Morning," the restaurants were trying to trick customers, including gratuities as high as 18% in the bill but still leaving a line for a tip. Clearly, the restaurant managers were hoping that people wouldn't check their bills carefully, and would double-tip.
The attorney who filed a $5.5 billion class-action law-suit against the eateries told CBS, "They want to squeeze that extra little dollar that they can out of everybody. A tip and a gratuity are exactly the same thing."
The suit can be brought in New York because city law dictates that restaurants can't add surcharges to bills unless diners eat in groups of eight or more.
Darden Restaurants, owner of both Olive Garden and Red Lobster, released a statement saying, "The automatic gratuity is a convenience for our guests. Our guests always have the option of adding to, reducing or completely deducting the automatic gratuity before paying their check."
At Arnold & Itkin, we don't believe that adding enormous surcharges is a "convenience" for customers. Our team of personal injury attorneys helps protect consumers from deceptive practices such as this. If you have a legal matter in which we can assist you, please contact our office today for a free and confidential legal consultation.