It's about the beer
Gina Miller and Bill Keeper
Did you see the story about the new class action lawsuit against a restaurant chain called
TGI Fridays? Stop shaking your head, this is about beer too. Seems a Robert Cameron
wandered in to one of the locations back in 2012 (no Bill this is not old news, a decision of
sorts was only just announced).in Pemberton Township NJ. He ordered a water, a beer, and a
soda, plus a meal. So far so good but when he asked for his bill he was astounded. He
expected it to be around $20 plus tip but he was “shocked” to see they charged him more than
$5 for a “mass-produced beer” and almost $3 for the soda. Were prices really that low - oh,
sorry Mr. Cameron - I mean high, back then?
It later dawned on him that the menu did not list the drink prices, according to his complaint.
Had he known how much he would be charged, Cameron claims, he never would have ordered
the soda and would have asked for a cheaper beer. Cheaper?? Please let me know where I
can find that place today. And by the way, where the heck is Pemberton Township NJ?
Cameron suit was eventually filed in 2014. In it he said that the restaurant had violated
consumer fraud laws. "We allege that a TGI Fridays restaurant owned by a franchisee
selectively withheld prices from otherwise comprehensively priced menus as part of a carefully
researched scheme to charge higher prices than the fully informed market could sustain,” Are
you getting mad yet Bill? I am, even if it was only a difference a dollar or two Cameron is right.
As I see it price and serving size should always be on the menu (I can do without the calorie
information however). Far too often one or both are not listed on beer menus regardless of
the place. I seen that happen in expensive night spots, neighborhood pubs, and trendy
restaurants. In an age where consumer rights are an ongoing issue this is important to all of
us. And now Bill, you understand why I asked the server when we last went out to dinner what
the prices were on the "specials" she read off. Not knowing the price leaves the hapless
customer at the hands of what might be an unscrupulous business.
By the way have you noticed that the overwhelming majority of brewery tasting rooms put price
and serving size on their menu? It seems brewers care about their customers. And Bill, how
hard is it to list that information? The only reason I can think of why many places do not is they
intentionally what to manipulate the consumer for maximum profit. Shame on them.
In case you were wondering about the deposition of the lawsuit it's still on going but just a week
ago it was approved by the NJ Supreme Court to move on as a full fledged class action suit.
That's it from me, chug-a-lug, Bill.....see you next time!
Hello Gina -
I'm not going to respond by telling you if you have to ask for the price you can't afford it. If I said
that you might get angry at me. Now I might be thinking it but that's all.
Let me think of a few reasons why restaurants/bars might leave drink prices off menus .Soft
drinks, for example, are a high-profit center for a restaurant… If a customer sees that a Coke
costs $4.50, many customers won't buy it. Maybe listing prices/serving size takes up too much
space on the menu. With some bars having over 100 beers that could be a factor. Then
there's the comparison issue.. If you're having a Dale's Pale it still Dale's Pale at every other
place selling it. So I'm betting some places don’t want to be known as the place that’s a dollar
more expensive than the competition, so they simply leave the prices off. Hey Gina, I never said
these are good reasons, just reasons, so don't give me that look.
If I agree with you and Mr. Cameron will you smile? Well, start doing it since I do agree. I get
that suing a restaurant over $8 of overpriced drinks feels a bit excessive and might make some
people thing Mr. Cameron is a loon but frankly I see it as a principled stand worth taking.
If anyone thinks this is nuisance suit I ask them to try guessing what generic drinks cost at
various restaurants/bars. More often than not they will be totally wrong. The only way to know
the price is to see it. Gina, I know we both agree that If a restaurant is worried that revealing
high prices for soda, beer, and cocktails would hurt their business, well that’s just the free
market at work,
What makes an establishment think that the drinking public care so little about money that we'll
just order something without caring about the price? I know a lot of people (not you Gina) that
go out and only want to spend a specific amount. They don't need to be unpleasantly shocked
when their budget busting bill comes. To put it another way, when did the price of beer and
drinks become such a big secret? Is this a case for WikiLeaks?
Frankly, not listing prices on a menu is just plain disrespectful to the customer. It puts drinkers in
the uncomfortable position of having to ask about the price and I don't know anyone who really
enjoys doing that. .
One last thing Gina. There is no need for you personally to care about whether prices are listed
on a beer menu the next time I'm picking up the tab. Price is no object. No need to thank me
now. If that ever happens you can do it then.
Here's looking at you Gina