An added charge to a restaurant receipt might not come as a surprise anymore. In fact, diners can almost expect a rise in costs due to inflation and a growing reliance on surcharges.
A receipt from Alimento in Los Angeles, California, shows a 4 per cent surcharge had been added to cover "health insurance for staff". The total bill was US$129.38 (A$194), of this US$4.56 (A$6.80) made up the extra surcharge.
A photo of the receipt was shared on Twitter on Tuesday where it received some backlash. "Lotta bulls**t going on here," the poster wrote, pointing out they were charged for tap water too.
The water was charged as a "donation" and priced at US$3 (A$4.50) for two. There was also a note explaining the "health insurance" surcharge at the bottom of the bill.
"A 4% surcharge is added to each check so we may offer our staff health insurance," it read. "Please notify the server if you would like this removed".
History of healthcare costs on US bills
It's not the first time a surcharge for healthcare has been charged. In February, an American woman expressed her shock for noticing the same expense on her bill.
According to US reports, this surcharge first appeared way back in 2008, when businesses with more than 20 employees were made to put money aside for healthcare. However, what was once included in the menu price now frequently appears as a separate surcharge.
People fume over added surcharge
Many US customers are only just becoming aware of the added costs which, rather than a set fee, changes depending on the total bill amount.
"Hate LA prices but this is over the top," one person tweeted in response to the post.
"Might as well add a service charge for the building lease too," another sarcastically said. " Just outsource all your operating expenses completely."
Some didn't mind contributing to employees' wages and healthcare but said the cost was better incorporated into menu prices.
"The problem here is 'charging' for health insurance on a per customer basis; the insurance cost doesn't rise/lower based on the number of customers they get," one said. " It should be built into the overhead of the business, and added into the menu prices listed like a normal company does".
As for the water, well, that's "illegal" many concluded.
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