Chick-fil-A Hit with Lawsuit Over Price Gouging

by Kati Kuuseoks

In this digital age and in light of the pandemic, food delivery apps from 2020-2021 saw a surge of new customers they’ve yet to see in the past. Doordash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats are just some of the delivery options available out there right now. These apps supposedly operate under the mission of bringing customers more “convenience.”

The thing is, those apps and restaurants then often turn around and charge extra fees branded as “convenience fees.”

Most people don’t have an issue forking over an extra buck or two to save the time and hassle of driving to the restaurant themselves. The problem comes, however, when they lack transparency. Chick-fil-A might have learned that lesson the hard way. Angry customers just slapped them with a lawsuit that accuses the fast-food chain of price gouging. This follows another lawsuit regarding their long lines by a Texas Businessman. Details below.

Angry Customers Demand Answers and Compensation From Chick-fil-A

Now, Chick-fil-A talks a big game when it comes to their service. They’re known for their staff’s overly-polite scripts ripe with “my pleasure.” They also promise to bring customers the best deals on quality chicken out there. Their Twitter bio even reads “Chicken, Joy, Delivered.” The plaintiffs in a new Class Action Lawsuit, however, disagree. They say the chain’s covert price hikes are essentially a moral abomination.

Aneisha Pittman from Newark, New Jersey, and Susan Ukpere from the Bronx are the two lead plaintiffs in the case. Their Manhattan federal court filing comes from the last week of September. It alleges that Chick-fil-A gouges prices with mark-ups upwards of 30 percent sometimes.

As proof, they include their own data and experiences with ordering from the chain. The women hold that the same 30-count of chicken nuggets costs a whopping $6 more when ordered for delivery versus pickup. They note a similar experience when trying to order a spicy chicken sandwich deluxe meal.

“Hundreds of thousands of Chick-fil-A customers … have been assessed hidden delivery charges they did not bargain for,” they allege. The lawsuit then goes on to say “This hidden delivery upcharge makes Chick-fil-A’s promise of low-cost delivery patently false. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chick-fil-A has moved aggressively into the food delivery business, exploiting an opportunity presented by Americans’ reduced willingness to leave their homes. By unfairly obscuring its true delivery costs, Chick-fil-A deceives consumers and gains an unfair upper hand on competitors that fairly disclose their true delivery charges.”

What Does the Law Say?

Pittman and Ukpere note a few different laws and codes in their suit against Chick-fil-A. They start with a “breach of contract” and then also tack on “unjust enrichment.” Both of these acts fall under “deception practices.” If a court rules in their favor, that means Chick-fil-A is in direct violation of New York’s General Business Law and the NJ Consumer Fraud Act.