August 14, 2020 – Recently, in Illinois and other states such as Michigan and Missouri, customers have begun to notice a “COVID-19 surcharge” attached to their bills after eating. The charge has been around 5% and is placed around the sales tax section of a receipt The reason for the extra charge has been due to increased prices in the food supply chain with meat and poultry processing plants closing and grocery prices increasing. Restaurants also have to supply workers with personal protective equipment and to protect customers they must be even more thorough when cleaning. The surcharge is legal, but most customers would like this to be disclosed to them before they order. Restaurants who have been using the surcharge have been making their customers aware via social media or by putting a message near their entrance.
If you’re wondering if you will have an added charge to your meal, make sure to check the restaurant’s website and social media. Another option would be to call and ask if there will be an added charge to cover costs.
Checking the Decatur area, we contacted a number of local restaurants to see if they are currently using, or plan on implementing the surcharge. Some restaurants were hesitant to speak on the subject, but places like The Gin Mill, Beach House and Taproot responded by saying they have no plans to implement the surcharge.
“At this time though we will not be doing anything like that. We are trying our best to keep our prices as competitive as possible in these crazy times.” Said Todd Mason of Beach House. A similar sentiment was shared by Chad Dawson of The Gin Mill, who noted that the pandemic has placed enough stress on everyone as it is.
Businesses who have used the added surcharge have received backlash due to the fact that customers were unaware of the charge until checking their bill. The way to avoid this would be to simply call ahead, and politely ask if there will be additional charges pertaining to covering costs.