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Lawsuit Alleges TGI Friday's Used 'Menu Engineering' to Overcharge Diners for Drinks

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If the lawsuit is successful, the chain might have to fork over nearly $5 million.

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Three class-action suits have been filed against TGI Friday's, each accusing the chain of manipulating customers into buying overpriced drinks. According to the Courier-Post, the suits allege that TGI Friday's used a tactic called "menu engineering" to trick diners into ordering more expensive drinks. The lawsuits claim that the restaurant includes prices for all food items on menus, but "deliberately" excludes the prices of drinks. This allows the chain to sell drinks "at prices above a customer's expectations."

One of suits go so far as to contend that TGI Friday's charges a different price for the same drink "depending on where in the restaurant the beverage is ordered." The Inquirer notes that the law firm behind the three lawsuits is seeking payments of $100 "per beverage for customers who ordered beer, soda, or mixed drinks" at the chain. If the suits are successful, TGI Friday's could have to pay more than $5 million.

TGI Friday's isn't the first chain to be accused of ripping off their customers when serving them beverages. Back in October, Arby's was called out for allegedly serving customers only 21 ounces of soda in a cup advertised to contain 22 ounces of fluid. It doesn't sound like "menu engineering" will help when TGI Friday's has to list calorie counts next to those drink names.

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