Restaurants charging COVID surcharge

Local News

Baton Rouge restaurants are joining a national trend to help make up some of the money lost due to COVID-19.

If you order food to go at Superior Grill you may notice something different about your bill. 

On every receipt you’ll now see a service charge. Restaurant manager, Richard Romero says the extra cash is for their servers. The added money is a built in 15% fee.

“That’s one of the things we need to do in order to cover the payment for the employees,” Romero said.

He says because of income lost due to COVID-19 they don’t have enough money to pay everyone, so the new fee will help keep his staff employed.

“[Servers] make $2.13 per hour plus the tips so that’s why we do that,” Romero said. “We like our staff and we’re trying to help them as much as we can.”

Superior Grill has joined a national trend of COVID surcharges in cities from Chicago to San Diego.

Some local residents say they don’t think the charge is fair.

“I think it’s a little obnoxious considering a lot of people took a big hit financially from coronavirus,” Thomas Bagot said. “I think for them to charge extra is a little over the top.”

“I’ve always been good at tipping people because they deserve it, but I’m not real happy with being told I have to do something,” Ric Smith said.

Romero says the charge is the only way the restaurant will stay afloat after this financial blow. It’s money he believes is well earned.

“To go ordering is more work,” Romero said. “They have to package all the to go orders, put names to the orders [and] sometimes we have big orders.” 

The extra charge is only for to go orders and not for dine in. Romero says the charge will go away once restrictions are lifted.  

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