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Panera Could Potentially Owe You Money, Here’s How to Collect

The quick-service restaurant is about to settle a $2 million class action lawsuit.

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Ever ordered food delivery from Panera? If your answer is yes, then you may just be owed some settlement money.

According to the Kroll Settlement Administration, the third-party firm overseeing Panera’s settlement distribution, the quick-service restaurant chain was accused of misleading customers who ordered food delivery during the pandemic — between October 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021. Apparently, the company had incorrectly charged bloated “additional, hidden” delivery fees and wrong, elevated menu prices.

Now, Panera is officially settling the $2 million class action lawsuit, which means affected customers are able to file for electronic cash payments or vouchers. However, this agreement was reached with the explicit condition that the company would not have to come forward and admit any fault on its part.

Related: Panera Is Getting 9 Completely New Menu Items — Here's a Peek

The plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Illinois last year said that Panera promised deliveries that were either free or at a low flat rate as long as customers ordered through the chain’s website or mobile application. They also alleged that the food prices were marked up to 7%, per USA Today.

“This secret menu price markup was specifically designed to cover the costs of delivering food and profit on that delivery,” according to the lawsuit. “It was, in short, exclusively a charge for using Panera’s delivery service and was, therefore, a delivery charge.”

Those eligible for payment have two ways to claim: a cash settlement award or a Soups & Mac voucher. Those who choose cash will receive up to $12 via electronic transfer, such as Venmo or PayPal. Customers who opt for the alternative may get up to two vouchers worth up to $9.50 each (or one free Soup & Mac menu item).

Related: Family Sues Panera Bread Claiming ‘Charged Lemonade’ Led to Student’s Death

To file a claim, affected customers who have a class member ID — which would have been received by way of email — may head directly to deliverypricesettlement.com. Meanwhile, those without an ID number can download a claim form and mail it to: Panera Delivery Fees Settlement, c/o Kroll Settlement Administration LLC, PO Box 225391, New York, NY 10150-5391.

All mailed-in claims must be postmarked by June 10, 2024. And as for when claimants will be paid, a fairness hearing will be held on May 31 to approve the settlement. Once approved, customers may see their settlement awards within the next 60 days.

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