The restaurant P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. was recently sued in California federal district court over claims that its gluten-free menu pricing violates the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). The basis for the claim is that P.F. Chang’s violates civil and disability rights by forcing customers with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to pay premium prices for gluten-free options, which are priced higher than other menu items. The plaintiff seeks to represent a class of individuals who ordered from the restaurant’s gluten-free menu in California over the past four years.
Although legal actions against restaurants are not uncommon, this particular claim could create a new avenue of consumer claims against businesses. If successful, other restaurants and businesses may need to review their product offerings and price points to avoid the risk of similar lawsuits.