Find a place to eat or drink in your area that does not charge extra on public holidays.http://www.no-surcharge.co.nz/
I was at dinner with friends at Little Star last weekend, and we were splitting the check. "Looks like the health care surcharge here is 50 cents a person," said one of them, fingering the bill, and suddenly my mood flashed from cheese-stuffed and content to angry. It's been almost three years since the Healthy San Francisco initiative started up and these surcharges gradually started appearing. http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/05/after_two_years_why_are_we_sti.php
A Florida restaurant owner who runs 40 franchises of the Denny's restaurant chain has threatened to add a five percent surcharge to customers bills in an effort to combat Obamacare
‘HEALTH’ SURCHARGE IN SAN FRANCISCO RESTAURANTS
Let’s add another fee onto a restaurant bill. If you haven’t heard, in San Francisco restaurants have added a ‘Health’ surcharge to cover the employers’ mandatory contribution to the City’s “Healthy San Francisco” health coverage system. Now their is a fear that this will spread like wild fire in the restaurant business. Do you agree with this extra fee? Would you eat or return to a restaurant that would add this charge to your bill? http://blogs.villagegreen.com/stlouis/2010/03/08/health-surcharge-in-san-francisco-restaurants/
8 restaurant surcharges that don't make sense - and 8 that do
Extra Charges I Just Don't Get
The first time I ate at Dylan Prime Steakhouse in New York I was floored to see that a meal - which could easily cost more than $100 a person - might also include a $3 extra charge for a sauce or special butter. That’s like charging extra for sprinkling Parmesan on your pizza. Or having salt on the table.
Yes, some fast food joints charge extra for a packet of ketchup. I came face to face with this practice at a McDonald’s in London back in 1988. The cost: 5p (pence) - about a nickel - per packet. Why aren’t there similar surcharges for mustard and mayo?
Splitting a dish/extra side dish
Ask if you can officially split the dish and you may get hit with a surcharge of between $2 and $5 or more, a penalty that feels like it’s designed to discourage sharing (which is weird because don’t we go to restaurants to share a meal with others?)
Splitting the check
I was a waiter once. I know it takes more time to process two, three, even four credit cards. But there’s no good reason to charge extra - or forbid - the practice. Credit-card processing fees should not be the customers’ concern.
Cocktail neat/on the rocks
Some bars tack on an extra buck or two claiming that the pour is different: You get 2 ounces in a neat rocks glass and 1.5 ounces if you order on the rocks. Or vice versa, depending on the place.
Food waste/not finishing what's on the plate
Buffets are magnets for gluttons because you can pile on as much food as the plate will hold - and sometimes come back for seconds. But there’s a cost: Our eyes are bigger than our stomachs and tons of food typically remains on the plate at the end of the meal. To combat this effect, some restaurants have suggested applying a fee, as reported about the $32 waste fee posted by the management at The Kylin Buffet Chinese restaurant in England. A noble idea, perhaps, but restaurants are not government institutions (“Take all you want but eat all you take” as they say in the army).
Non-bottled (sometimes filtered) tap water
Millennium restaurant in San Francisco had its heart in the right place: They were dedicated to organic food production, small farms, sustainable agriculture, recycling and composting. In fact, they were so environmentally-friendly that they took the extreme measure of banning bottled water altogether, offering instead a delicious glass from their Natural Tap Water Filtration System. Unfortunately, they also stopped offering tap water. So, water cost $1 for what’s basically filtered tap water.
The cutting and spreading, though a minimal culinary effort to be sure, technically makes it a prepared meal. Sold unaltered, it is a tax-exempt food item. Seems like there’s a hole in this law to me.
Extra Charges I Understand
You want freshly shaved black truffles on your butter-poached lobster? That’ll be an additional $12 at Michael’s on the Hill in Vermont (fair price it seems to me). Caviar on the side? Of course you gotta pay extra for that. Nothing fishy there. These are gourmet ingredients, so unless the menu hides the fact that there’s a surcharge, these are warranted.
Bread and butter/chips and salsa
Historically, Americans in the latter part of the 20th century are accustomed to seeing certain side dishes served for free before a meal. Most consumers simply won’t go back to an establishment if they’re charged for something they used to get (or can get elsewhere) for free. But really, why are these dishes free? The ingredients cost money - and they fill you up, so you may order less.
You made a reservation, the restaurant is holding your table, and you never show up and don’t even call? Seems fair to charge a penalty so selfish barbarians don’t abuse the privilege, especially in cities like New York where aggressive diners have been known to make reservations at three venues for the same time and day - to hold the spots - and only show up at one at the last minute.
If a dish normally comes with one side dish and you’d like a different one, you should be notified about the price difference and understand that some of the fee goes to the extra effort of making the chef (or server) plate something in an unfamiliar way. Not all menus are designed to mix and match - much to the chagrin of vegetarians, allergy sufferers, the lactose-intolerant and gluten avoiders.
Eating at prime time
The idea is simple: Everyone wants to eat between 6 and 8 p.m. - not at 5:30 or 10:30 p.m. Charging more for access during the dinner rush is not unlike nightclubs that charge more after midnight when the dance floor is packed and they don’t need bodies to fill the space anymore.
Tips for large groups
You just had a steak dinner with six buddies. The bill comes and there’s an extra 20% at the bottom. Admittedly there are two potential downsides to this practice: First, if the service sucks, you’re forced to pay this healthy tip anyway. Second, and far worse, some bills hide this automatically added fee, which leads the occasional diner to pay an unintended second tip on top.
If you’re bringing your own wine to a restaurant and thus not paying for a bottle from their list (would you ever dare to bring your own food?), then it makes sense that management would charge an extra charge fee.
Access to the room with live music
If a band is playing, of course, it’s ok to charge extra for those customers who want to be closer to the music.