As businesses are starting to slowly re-open while the U.S. still grapples with the rise in coronavirus cases, many restaurants are seriously struggling. Almost all bars and restaurants were forced to shut down in March, and some never found a way to open again. Others have transitioned to offer take-out and delivery, but almost no restaurant came through the quarantine unscathed.
In addition to closures and changes, many establishments have faced higher food prices while still dealing with diminished income. Every industry has been shaken up by the coronavirus, but restaurant owners are facing existential threats to their livelihoods. As a result, some are looking for different ways to offset some lost revenue.
As restaurants fight for survival, sometimes that results in higher prices for customers. Specifically, some bars and restaurants are adding “COVID-19 surcharges” on orders placed during the pandemic.
Surcharges have varied from place to place. A Michigan pub tacked $1 on every order for instance, while a high-end Chicago-based restaurant group added a 4 percent fee at all locations.
Some customers have taken more kindly to the additional charges than others. On the one hand, restaurants desperately need additional money and are providing a valuable service in a time when it’s difficult to do so. On the other hand, many Americans are struggling to make ends meet too, and additional costs are not welcome.
However, any restaurant with COVID-related surcharges will be honest about it. If you’re ordering takeout, ask before placing your order if the restaurant has any additional fees during these times.
It’s worth keeping in mind that surcharges aren’t widespread, and are usually very small. If you can afford to order takeout, you can probably spare a few bucks to help support a local business!