New 'kitchen fee' at restaurants infuriates customers

Tuesday, 26/03/2024, 11:55 (GMT+7)

The raised discussion sparked a new kitchen fee while people are reluctant to get the fee removed from their bill

New 'kitchen fee" debate in New York restaurants

Diners in Western New York are encountering a novel addition to their restaurant bills: a "kitchen appreciation fee." 

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A new fee is being added to customers' bills in certain restaurants in parts of New York. Image Credits: WGRZ TV

According to the report, this fee, averaging around 3%, is intended to supplement the wages of kitchen staff who typically don't receive tips.  However, the implementation of this fee has sparked debate among customers. 

The new fee has left some diners confused and hesitant. 

Customers are unsure of the fee's purpose and whether it's mandatory.  The fear of being perceived negatively for opting out adds to the awkwardness.

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According to the report, this fee is known as the 'kitchen appreciation fee'. Image Credits: WGRZ TV

The New York State Restaurant Association president, Melissa Fleischut, explains the rationale behind the fee.  

With rising costs and diners becoming more price-sensitive, restaurants are reluctant to raise menu prices directly.  The "kitchen appreciation fee" is seen as a way to boost kitchen staff wages without significantly impacting customer bills.

"The consumers becoming more and more price conscience and adverse to higher prices. Our restaurant owners are [really] afraid of increasing prices so much, you stop coming out," Fleishchut went on.

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Several users have expressed their dissatisfaction with this new fee. Image Credits: WGRZ TV

On social media, the debate surrounding this new fee has sparked. 

While the fee aims to benefit kitchen staff, some diners believe a direct wage increase would be a more transparent solution.  

Comments on social media reflect this sentiment, with some suggesting restaurants simply pay their employees more and avoid a separate.

One person said: This sounds like a democrat thing… their goal is for everyone to be broke.

A second wrote: Well, if they're at it might as well add other fees, like the cleaners fee, the dishwasher fee, the ambiance fee, bathroom fee, and the server's tip. 

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Customers are reluctant to refuse payment due to social pressure and the fear of appearing rude. Image Credits: WGRZ TV

While a third commented: I would have exact change, minus the kitchen fee, leave it at the cash register and walk out!!!

Someone else said: If I'm a great customer, not demanding, very appreciative, can I expect a discount on my meal? Does this go both ways?

Several users admitted that they acknowledge the challenges posed by this fee. 

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While some customers believe that increasing employees' wages directly is preferable. Image Credits: WGRZ TV

They mentioned the disparity between wait staff tips and the static wages of kitchen staff. The "kitchen appreciation fee" remains a contentious issue.

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