The next time you go to a restaurant, here’s why you might see a COVID-19 surcharge on the receipt

May 21st, 2020

COVID-19 pandemic has not only caused thousands of death worldwide and put pressure on the health care systems of many countries, but also affected the global economy. Millions of Americans have already lost their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic and the unemployment rate has surged.

The pandemic has affected everyone but the service sector has been hit hard and many restaurant owners across the country are struggling to cope with the economic fallout.

If you’ve seen a COVID-19 surcharge on your customer bill, you’re not the only one

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

The COVID-19 surcharge is a new fee that some restaurants in the country have introduced to make up for the rising costs amid the coronavirus pandemic. Kiko Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Lounge in West Plains, Missouri, is just one of many restaurants in America struggling to keep its old menu prices.

However, food costs have been rising steadily and it’s become impossible for owners to manage the costs so they decided to introduce a new fee called ‘COVID-19 Surcharge’ to cope with the economic impact of the pandemic.

Customers and people on social media reacted differently to the new fee

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Kristi Source: Kristi

Since one Twitter user has posted a picture of a receipt from Koko’s that shows the new fee, many Twitter were quick to express their disapproval of the new COVID-19 surcharge. Others have stated that they’d be happy to pay for the new surcharge to help support their favorite local business during the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The new 5 percent surcharge was introduced on May 6th, other restaurants across the US are likely to follow suit

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Kiko Japanese Steakhouse Source: Kiko Japanese Steakhouse

According to the restaurant owner, the primary cause behind their decision to introduce a new COVID-19 fee was the rise in the cost of meat, seafood, and vegetables.

“We were hoping to adjust the charge weekly based on the prices we get from our suppliers instead of raising all of our prices across the board on our menu,” he said. “We also planned on taking this surcharge off completely once all the prices return to normal.”

Most dinners aren’t too excited about the new fee

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

It doesn’t come as a surprise that most dinners aren’t excited about the new COVID-19 surcharge on their customer bills.

“I know they’re hurting and that’s why I’m trying to support local business and eat out as much as I can but I don’t think they need to charge us extra,” one dinner told the local media.

The dramatic drop in restaurant revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic has prompted many restaurant owners to introduce this new fee as the means to offset the effects of the pandemic on their business.

The new COVID-19 surcharge is going to kickstart a debate on the best way to recoup extra costs

We can’t know whether the new fee is here to stay, or it’s only a temporary measure by some restaurant owners aimed to cut their losses and help them recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“Rather than raise the price of the meal it would just be a surcharge at the bottom of the ticket so the consumer really understands ‘hey I’m not gouging you on prices… I’m passing on the cost incurred to me,” said Susan Quam, Wisconsin Restaurant Association Executive Vice President.

One popular family restaurant owner from Phoenix, on the other hand, said that he’d never consider adding an extra fee to his customers’ receipt, which he considers insulting. “You cannot charge people because there’s a problem,” he said.

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YouTube Screenshot Source: YouTube Screenshot

What’s your opinion on the new COVID-19 surcharge? Watch the video below and don’t forget to comment and share.

Source:, WMTW