From its signature "my pleasure" mantra to helping push a customer's car to the gas station, Chick-fil-A and its employees have a reputation for going above and beyond for customers. In fact, this fast food chain was recently voted best in customer satisfaction for the third year in a row in a 2021 Newsweek survey. But despite its success with fast food consumers over the years, Chick-fil-A has recently come under fire for a decision that has upset even its most loyal devotees. Read on find out what has Chick-fil-A customers so riled up that they've filed a lawsuit.
Chick-fil-A is being sued for pricing items higher when customers order delivery.
Chick-fil-A is facing a class action lawsuit for up-charging delivery orders, Food&Wine first reported. One person from New York City and another from New Jersey have alleged that that fast food chain started pricing menu items higher when selected for delivery in early 2020. The plaintiffs say that Chick-fil-A claims that consumers will only have to pay a flat "delivery free" of up to $3.99, but the cost ends up being "actually much higher" because the chain charges a "hidden food markup" for items when they are ordered for delivery opposed to pick-up, according to the lawsuit. The case says that Chick-fil-A adds "a hefty 25 to 30 percent" markup. When looking at the fast food chain's app, an eight-piece nugget is $3.85 when ordering for pickup, but $4.99 when ordering delivery from the same store.
The customers say the chain's practice is deceptive.
The lawsuit says that the additional cost is "deceptive" because it allows Chick-fil-A to attract customers with low delivery prices over other chains who "fairly and prominently" advertise the true total costs of their delivery services.
"This hidden delivery upcharge makes Chick-fil-A's promise of low-cost delivery patently false. The true delivery costs are obscured, as described above, and far exceed its express representation that its 'Delivery Fee' is a flat fee of only $2.99 or $3.99," the lawsuit states. "By falsely marketing a quantified, low-cost delivery charge, Chick-fil-A deceives consumers into making online food purchases they otherwise would not make."
This is not the only food chain that has been sued for hidden delivery fees.
Chick-Fil-A is not the only food chain being targeted for deceptive delivery pricing amid the pandemic. Panda Express was also recently hit with a class action lawsuit over allegedly hiding service charges on delivery orders. According to the lawsuit filed July 1, Panda Express advertises a $2.95 delivery fee for customers, while also charging an additional 10 percent "service charge" that is only added to delivery orders and not for those who pick up their food in-store.
"Because this fee is exclusively charged to delivery customers, and not to customers who order in-store or who order online and pick up their food in store, the 'service fee' is by definition a delivery fee," the lawsuit states. "Panda Express obscures the true nature of the fee by naming it a 'service fee.'"
Customers have also expressed outrage over Chick-fil-A's drink prices.
Delivery costs are not the only price-related battle Chick-fil-A is facing with its customers right now. In February, Business Insider reported that the fast food chain had consolidated the sizing of some of its items, like its milkshakes and coffees. Customers can now only purchase speciality drinks in a small size of 16 ounces and not in larger sizes. Some customers have recently alleged that these smaller, one-size drinks are now the same price that a large one used to be.
"Our stores stopped offering a large option and kept the large price for the small," one Reddit user said this month. Another noted, "Charging for the previous large price for a small. I just don't order milkshakes anymore."