Earlier this month, in Miami federal court, an American international hospitality corporation had a class-action lawsuit filed against it. Since a new Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeal decision, the business is part of a broader wave of hotels facing lawsuits over gratuity or service charges that allegedly violate unfair trade practice laws.
The case came from a hotel guest who, via a QR code, ordered several meals at restaurants in one of the hotels belonging to the hospitality group, which carried an electronic version of the restaurant menu. According to the lawsuit, the woman ordered food and beverages from the menu on her mobile. Although her check had “20 percent SVC CHG,” she said she did not see any note on the menu of the restaurant that an automatic gratuity or service fee about such fees being added to her check. The woman argues that an electronic, mandatory gratuity was unfairly paid.
The class-action case aims to stand for the interests of other class members who bought food or drinks at one of the several hotel properties of the hospitality business in Florida during the last four years.