Yes, you read that right. It’s OK, I was shell shocked for about 30 seconds, then when I read the story; I was still shell shocked. Normally there would be something in the article that made some sense. I searched the article several times; trying to figure out where the common sense was. Where was the “law breaking” that could lead to a viable law suit? Well, I came up empty handed every single time that I re-read this article.
*Let’s look at this according to each claim, I am not a lawyer (“but I play one on TV”), so I am going with common sense 101 on this one:
2) “Because GF diet is medically necessary, patrons have no choice but to order at the higher price”.
Well, the plaintiff may be barking up the wrong tree here. In many countries (Ireland is one of them), the GF Diet is the only prescription for Celiac Disease, so they order their GF Food from a pharmacy and it is covered by insurance! This customer obviously pays more at her local grocery store for GF items, has she sued them? In what restaurant fantasy land can anyone ask for items that cost more and not pay more for them? Back to supply and demand or she can just stay home. $1 is nothing. GF soy sauce and noodles cost about 5x what the regular version is. There is also extra training, special plates, extra prep to make special GF Sauces and special prep areas and precautions that happen to make sure the meal is GF and not contaminated when it gets to her. $1 surcharge is nothing for them to charge for this service and I think she should be happy that PF Chang’s wanted to go to this trouble to serve her a GF meal.
The charge is for the gluten free aspect and replacing sauces and noodles, etc.; is quite an expense. If someone makes a change to a regular menu item it is usually, “No onions” that means they just leave them out if they are not already in the sauce. This is a lot different then saying “I have celiac disease and can’t have any gluten or get cross contaminated”. A whole new ball game begins to unfold when you have to make a GF accommodation in a kitchen that is full of gluten. This claim makes no sense. Does she mean they aren’t charging people who say “give me extra gluten” or “I can have gluten”? A special GF request also involves additional labor, special sauces and pastas and additional steps to make sure the item is still gluten free when it gets to her. I think she should be happy they wanted to make her a GF meal!
Fantasy Land! Newsflash: Ordering plain steamed veggies is a special order. The restaurant probably uses a special seasoning or soy sauce and other custom sauces on them that contain gluten and they are probably prepped up at 10am before lunch and at 4pm before dinner and then cooked to order. When you need them to be made differently they have to use special GF sauces that cost more or stop and prep it without gluten to your order and they have to make sure it is not contaminated. She may steam plain veggies at home, but that is not the norm in a restaurant! Wake up, again she should be happy they wanted to make sure her veggies were GF.
“I went to PF Chang’s, saw the $1 surcharge on the menu for GF Items, I ordered the GF Food and ate the GF food; but they violated my rights by serving me what I ordered by charging me the $1 that I agreed to pay for the food when I placed the order for it!”