NJ restaurant customers now responsible for another ‘fee’ (Opinion)
I may soon give up on going out to eat in New Jersey.
I get times are tough but why should I, the customer, have to pay for it?
Let me explain because yes, there is a new trend developing among restaurants.
New fee we already knew about
Recently, we gave you the heads up that New Jersey restaurants are now allowed to charge the 3% credit card fee to their customers to help offset costs during record-high inflation rates.
FYI: Businesses have to give you a heads up that you will be responsible for this charge BEFORE you sit down to eat or order.
When this news first came out, I was bitter but also kind of understood.
Now there's another fee added on
According to NJ.com, there is now yet ANOTHER fee that you could be charged when eating out and this might be the straw that breaks the camel's back.
It is called the Kitchen Appreciation Fee.
It is an extra fee that is being charged to customers and the money only goes to kitchen and other non-tipped staff in the restaurant.
This money will not go to servers or bartenders.
The amount being charged, however, depends on location.
According to NJ.com, Talula's in Asbury Park charges 3.5%.
According to Today.com, some restaurants are charging an 18% living wage — 10% goes to the kitchen staff and 8% goes to servers.
According to Talula's owner, Steve Mignogna, management did consider raising menu prices but implementing this appreciation fee came with another perk.
It resulted in, "salaries in the kitchen [increasing by] an average of 20%, which was needed because cost of living in Asbury has gone sky high," Mignogna explained to NJ.com.
Is this how we should be solving the problem?
In a way, I love this idea because it will help some of our favorite local joints remain in business.
However, why is it the customer's responsibility to give extra money to the staff so they make a livable wage? Doesn't that responsibility fall on the business owner?
And for those of you who have not given up on eating out just yet: