Benjamin Abel Discusses Lawsuits Against Quick-Service Restaurants in QSR

November 26, 2019

McGuireWoods associate Benjamin Abel wrote a November 2019 article titled “Why Lawsuits Are Taking Aim at Quick-Service Meal Pricing” in QSR magazine.

In the article, Abel noted that a new batch of lawsuits have been filed alleging that defendant restaurants deceived the plaintiffs by charging more than advertised for various meal deals. However, such suits may have a tough time getting past motions to dismiss because “courts have been largely unreceptive to such claims, holding that customers cannot be deceived when they receive the food they ordered and can compare prices for themselves prior to purchase,” Abel wrote.

Abel added that “the nature of quick-service restaurants has typically been fatal for these claims, given the menu boards featured prominently for consumers to view and the order totals given to customers prior to receiving their meals.”

To succeed, plaintiffs “must somehow convince courts that it was reasonable for them to neither stop to compare prices prior to ordering nor inquire about the price discrepancy at the time of purchase and before receiving their food.” Yet case law suggests “most meal-deal plaintiffs will have a tough time explaining to the courts why they didn’t realize the price differences prior to purchase,” Abel wrote.

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