There is a fascinating lawsuit in California where Anna Marie Phillips has sued A California woman P.F. Chang’s China Bistro Inc. for charming a dollar extra for gluten-free food. Phillips says that gluten diets are necessary for people with celiac disease and thus the added charge violates the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit questions the basis for the charge which vegetables are gluten-free but are subject to the added charge. However, this is a relatively small charge and could be justified on the grounds of not just special ingredients but special preparation. The size of the charge is so small that the advantage will be with the restaurant. The chain can also point to the fact that it is ranked as the second most allergy-friendly restaurant by the website Allergy Eats. As shown above, it advertises its gluten-free approach. Moreover, a study by Canada’s Dalhousie Medical School found that all the commercially available products labeled gluten-free were 242 percent more expensive than comparable products. While this may also be due to inflated prices, it would work to the advantage of the restaurant chain.
The British Medical Journal found that it costs around $550 a year more to live gluten-free. It turns out that that amounts to $1.48 more per day, which is in line with the charge. Again, however, it will depend on the restaurant establishing a basis in the ingredients or the labor associated with the dishes.