“Restaurants and corporations like to add on these fees that are supposed to look official and somehow required, and in fact, it’s just a way for them to increase their bottom line and decrease their overhead,” attorney Brandee Faria told FOX Business of the consumer class-action lawsuit she filed against Romano’s Macaroni Grill earlier this year.
Faria, who lives in Honolulu, said multiple complaints regarding the restaurant’s allegedly superfluous inflation fee were funneled to her because of her decades-long work specializing in consumer class-action law. The Denver-based chain has 41 locations throughout the U.S.
Faria claimed Romano’s inflation fee is “the tip of the iceberg,” and that other establishments are engaging in similar practices with so-called “kitchen service charges,” which she said can sometimes amount to as much as 3% of the bill.
“This is something that is much more widespread,” Faria said. “But the whole key to maintaining their ability to continue this is just by making it a nominal amount that nobody’s really going to grumble about it.”
“Companies love to add on fees or surcharges, because at $2 or 3%, the average individual is not going to do anything,” she explained, adding that such fees are not revealed to the consumer until the meal is over. “What can you do at that point in time? You’ve already eaten the food.”
“It adds up very quickly,” she said. “It’s just