Legal News Line Nov. 25, 2014, 1:14pm

CAMDEN, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New owners of the restaurant chain T.G.I. Friday’s Inc. are named in a class action lawsuit originally filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey that claims the establishment did not print drink prices on menus so customers would not be aware of excessive prices.

Sentinel Capital Partners LLC and TriArtisan Capital Partners, listed as co-defendants, have owned and operated the T.G.I. Friday’s chain of restaurants since July 14. They removed the case to U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey on Nov. 20 under the Class Action Fairness Act.

A previous class action against T.G.I. Friday’s and its prior owner has already been filed but did not include customers who patronized the restaurants during the time Sentinel Capital Partners and TriArtisan Capital Partners owned the establishments.

T.G.I. Friday's lists the cost of food items on its menu, but does not disclose the price of beverages, something the lawsuit claims is known as “menu engineering,” a strategic act to exploit consumer psychology and manipulate perceptions.

It further claims the restaurant practices “bait and switch” advertising, in which it would charge different prices for the same drink depending on whether it was ordered in the bar or seating area.

Plantiff Michael Grace, a New Jersey resident, learned the price of a mixed drink was $10.39 only after he consumed the beverage, he say.

The suit claims knowingly or intentionally failing to disclose the prices of soft drinks, beer and mixed drinks constitutes unconscionabsle commercial practices and violates the Consumer Fraud Act.

Attorney Wesley Hanna of the Law Office of Sander D. Freidman is representing the plaintiff.

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey case number 1:14-cv-07233.


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