'$5 fee added': Restaurant's Covid sign sparks negative reviews

·2-min read

A restaurant owner has been criticised after posting a sign in his shopfront asking anyone who wears a Covid mask to donate US$5 (A$6.48).

Chris Castleman, who runs Fiddleheads Cafe in Mendocino in the US state of California, told NBC diners “either love it or hate it”.

"$5 (A$6.48) fee added to orders placed while wearing a face mask,” the sign reads.

“An additional $5 (A$6.48) fee will be added if you are caught bragging about your vaccine. Proceeds will be donated to local charities assisting domestic abuse victims.”

Fiddleheads Cafe in California is pictured.
Fiddleheads Cafe in California has faced criticism for encouraging patrons not to wear masks. Source: Yelp

Mr Castleman has clarified paying the $6.48 is optional.

"There are people who refuse to pay it; I guess a $5 (A$6.48) donation to charity is too much for them,” he told NBC.

The sign shouldn’t come as a surprise to regular diners at Mr Castleman’s establishment though.

In April, he erected a similar sign which read: “Throw your mask(s) in our trash bin and receive 50% off your order."

A sign at Fiddleheads Cafe saying it will charge customers $5 for wearing a face mask.
The aformentioned sign. Source: Yelp

Restaurant slammed for 'lack of empathy'

On review site Yelp, some people were less than enthused about his latest sign though.

“Another business decides to flout CDC (Centers for Disease Control) guidelines, ignore science, increase the likelihood of customers and employees to get sick, and make it harder on the state and country to reopen,” one woman wrote.

“One star for the lack of empathy, brains, and respect.”

One man wrote the sign had him “extremely disappointed”, adding he has friends who have contracted coronavirus from restaurants and venues.

“No mask mandates... gross!” another man wrote.

“And they are proud to announce it publicly! They have already been fined by the county and still continue to denounce masks.”

In June last year, Fiddleheads was fined US$10,000 (A$12,950) after being cited by health officials for staff not wearing masks inside, Fox News reported.

Mr Castleman chose to shut up shop at the time.

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