Restaurant forced to defend itself after it added 'coronavirus surcharge’ to a customer's bill

Moya Lothian-McLean@moya_lm
Thursday 14 May 2020 09:15
news
Picture:(KY3/Screengrab)

Making ends meet as economies crash around our ears is not easy right now.

Which is why some restaurants in West Plains, Missouri have made a new addition to their bills: a Covid-19 surcharge.

Speaking to local new station KY3, three restaurants in the West Plains area said they were adding a 5 per cent surcharge to help them cover extra costs as prices of ingredients climb due to Covid-19.

However one of those restaurants was later singled out and accused of “scamming” customers when a photo of a receipt showing the new cost when viral.

Twitter user @talialikeitis posted a picture of a bill from Kiko Japanese Steakhouse, displaying the 5 per cent surcharge, which amounted to $2.19.

Scuse me ... what? A covid surcharge...?” she wrote.

Social media users were not impressed, leading to a flood of accusations directed towards the restaurant, alleging that the surcharge was a “horrible business practice”.

The owners were even called “evil”.

The restaurant has now been forced to defend itself, telling customers the surcharge is an unfortunate necessary response to increased supplier costs, reports Daily Dot.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Kiki Japanese Steakhouse said employees were being harassed as a result of the viral picture.

“Recently our employees [have] been getting harassed due to some people’s mis-use of the actual picture of our receipt from our actual customer that [is] going around on social media, even trending on twitter due to the surcharge title!!” read the post.

Please understand we are not doing this to take advantage of you guys! We are doing this hoping we can adjust the surcharge weekly rather than just raise all of our prices on our menu due to [increased] prices from our supplier on meat,poultry,seafood & produce.

Almost all of us here getting our supply through the same supplier. So why are we the one that being harassed??!! Stop calling names to my employees!! They are just working there, go ask the meat packer not us!! We are just buying it from them!! Because somewhere high up the food supply meat chain is broken & causing this prices going up!!”

The restaurant then said they would remove the surcharge from the bill but would have to increase menu prices overall to cover costs.

A sign of things to come...

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