Major backlash against Missouri restaurant for tacking on ‘Coronavirus surcharge’

The restaurant says rising cost of food made coronavirus surcharge necessary.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

You may want to double-check your bill the next time you visit a restaurant in Missouri.

Earlier this week, a patron at the Kiko Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Lounge in West Plains, Missouri tweeted a receipt she received for her order that had a $2.19 “COVID-19 surcharge” tacked on.

The tweet went viral shortly afterwards and is causing a major backlash against the restaurant.

“That’s ridiculous. Restaurants are receiving extra money from the government to help,” one user wrote. “Why should customers keep paying more? I will not buy again in a place with this charge. The cost of doing business does NOT fall on the customer.”

The restaurant took to its Facebook page on Monday to defend its coronavirus surcharge.

“Please understand we are not doing this to take advantage of you guys!” the post stated.

“We are doing this hoping we can adjust the surcharge weekly rather than just raise all of our prices on our menu due to increased prices from our supplier on meat, poultry, seafood & produce,” it added.

According to the restaurant’s owner, Billy Yuzar, his establishment has been completely transparent regarding the surcharge, telling Fox News on Friday the extra charge is disclosed online, on the restaurant’s front door, and at the register.

Following the backlash, the restaurant anounced it will drop the surcharge and instead raise its prices to cover the extra costs being paid to its suppliers.

The popular steakhouse isn’t the only one that has added a coronavirus surcharge. Ozark Cafe in West Plains, Missouri is adding five-percent to the final bill.

“While not everyone will be thrilled with the new surcharge, customers we talked to say it’s no big deal,” co-owner Heather Hughes told Missouri KY3 news outlet.

“Most people here get the same thing. They know exactly how much it is going to be. You have to be transparent, you know,” Hughes said.

Goog’s Pub & Grub, a popular burger joint in West Michigan, added a $1 per meal “COVID Charge” on Thursday to recoup its losses during the pandemic.

“We’re not doing this to get rich,” general manager Palmer White told Michigan’s FOX 17. “We just want to see our staff is taken care of, make sure people are fed, and make sure our lights are on.”