As food delivery has exploded during the pandemic, pricing has become a source of contention for many customers as well as food delivery workers and restaurants.
A new lawsuit filed in federal court for a proposed class action suit against Chick-fil-A by a pair of New York City customers claims the company engaged in "deceptive and untruthful" practices by allegedly not disclosing that it charged extra for menu items for delivery than for in-store purchases.
"To appeal to consumers in a crowded food delivery marketplace, Chick-fil-A has promised its customers low-price delivery in its mobile application and on its website, usually in the amount of $2.99 or $3.99," the filing reads. "These representations, however, are false, because that is not the true cost of having food delivered by Chick-fil-A … Chick-fil-A secretly marks up food prices for delivery orders by a hefty 25 to 30 percent. In other words, the identical order of a 30-count chicken nuggets costs approximately $5 to $6 more when ordered for delivery than when ordered via the same mobile app for pickup, or when ordered in-store."
The lawsuit, which was first reported by Food & Wine, claims the alleged marked-up prices for delivery items by the chicken chain constitute "a hidden delivery fee" and "deceives customers into making online food purchases they otherwise would not make."
Chick-fil-A did not respond to a request for comment by TODAY Food.
The lawsuit seeks to stop Chick-fil-A from continuing its alleged "unlawful practices" as well as seeking "compensatory and punitive damages."
The legal filing marks the latest dust-up in food delivery, which grew exponentially early in the pandemic with millions of Americans on lockdown.
Some restaurants have noted that they are charging more for certain delivery items, which the lawsuit against Chick-fil-A says should be disclosed. The filing notes that the grocery delivery service Instacart informs customers that some items may cost more than if they were purchased in-store.
Delivery apps like Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash have also drawn criticism for some of their practices after jumping in usage during the pandemic.
Last month, New York City became the first city to pass sweeping legislation to set minimum pay and improve other conditions for food delivery workers for companies like Grubhub, Uber Eats and DoorDash.
Chicago filed lawsuits against against DoorDash and Grubhub in August for allegedly using unfair business practices and deceiving customers, which the companies have called "baseless."
The major delivery apps have also drawn criticism from restaurants over being charged huge amounts of fees, which can be between 20 and 30% commission rates for every order.