If your business delivers food and adds a small delivery charge, make extra sure customers understand the fee is not a gratuity.
Recent case: Matt delivered pizzas for Domino’s. When the company added a $1 delivery charge to all orders, drivers complained they received fewer tips. Some told customers that the charge wasn’t a gratuity in order to encourage tipping. Later, the company began printing a notice on the pizza boxes clearly stating the charge wasn’t a tip.
Matt sued on behalf of himself and other drivers, alleging that if customers believed the charge was a gratuity, it belonged to the drivers.
The court wouldn’t allow the collective action, but Matt can continue the suit over charges predating the box-top notice. (Luiken, et al., v. Domino’s Pizza, No. 12-1216, 8th Cir., 2013)
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