Restaurants Adding Healthcare Surcharge To Customers’ Bill

More restaurants are offering their workers healthcare benefits and passing some of the cost on to customers.

A pair of eateries in Austin, Texas are the latest asking their guests to chip in a little extra. The owner of Foreign & Domestic recently started adding 3 percent to every bill so he could offer health insurance to all of his full-time employees. He says it made more sense than raising prices. The extra charge at Foreign & Domestic is optional, and only a handful of customers have declined to pay it.

Another restaurant in Austin called Hoover’s Cooking now adds one dollar to every bill, which isn’t optional to customers. The restaurant uses the money to offer employees paid sick leave.

These aren’t the first restaurants to try this approach. Several in Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco started adding healthcare surcharges in recent years. The extra charge is usually between 2 and 4 percent of the bill.

So would you pay the healthcare surcharge?