Check your bills: Some businesses are adding a COVID-19 surcharge

Restaurants adding COVID-19 surcharge to bills

(Gray News) - You may see increased costs when you get your bill at establishments like restaurants and hair salons, as many are adding a COVID-19 surcharge.

Businesses have been adding the charge to the bill to help cover extra expenses related to the pandemic.

Ozark Cafe in West Plains, Missouri, is one restaurant that has added a 5% surcharge. The owner cited rising food prices and diminished meat supplies as a reason for the levy.

“Every day there’s something else that they can’t get or the prices have gone up exorbitantly,” co-owner Heather Hughes told KY3.

Some restaurant managers and owners have even seen meat prices doubling as a result of the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

Other restaurants in the West Plains area have advertised the surcharge so customers aren’t surprised when they receive their bill. While not every customer is a fan of the added price, many are understanding of the restaurants’ decisions.

“I absolutely support it," Maylee Stewart said. "I think it’s a good thing for us as a community to help support our local businesses. It’s really not a lot. They’re really not adding too much on to the total. I think mine was 66 cents today, and I’d pay more if they needed it.”

The surcharge is expected to be temporary. One restaurant manager said once food prices return to a sense of normalcy, the surcharge will no longer be seen on customers’ receipts.

It’s not just restaurants adding the surcharge. KVLY reports North Dakota-based M.J. Capelli Family Hair Salons decided to add a COVID-19 surcharge as well. The company released a statement saying it is because state restrictions have increased operating costs.

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