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Restaurant slammed for adding 'COVID charge' to bill

An Irish pub has confused diners after adding a “COVID-19 charge” to the bill.

A customer who dined at Mulligans of Sandymount in Dublin uploaded an image of her receipt to Facebook after she was left confused by the €2 (AU $3.30) charge added on to the bill.

The diners visited the pub on August 1 and ordered a beef burger, a beef taco, soft drinks, a coffee and cheesecake for dessert.

The bill – including the COVID charge – came to a total of €51.85 (AU $85.20).

“Mulligan’s of Sandymount - Covid-19 Charge?” the customer wrote along with a photo of the bill with the extra charge labelled “2 COVID-19 charge” circled.

The pub had billed each diner €1 each, leaving most people confused by the extra expense.

Diners at a Dublin pub were charged a 'covid-19 fee' for eating at Mulligans.
The diners were left confused after the pub added a 'COVID-19 charge' to their bill. Source: Facebook

“Is this a PPE charge possibly?” one person asked on Facebook.

“Why should anyone pay a covid charge the bill is expensive enough, they look like they bumped up their prices too,” another person responded.

Upset customers took to the restaurant’s Facebook page and left negative reviews over the extra charge.

“Absolutely disgraceful charging your customers Covid-19 tax. We will never ever be back to your premises,” one person wrote.

“Unbelievable that you would charge a Covid charge €1.00 per person, what’s it for?” another questioned.

A few people sided with the restaurant suggesting the extra cleaning and sanitising required was an added cost to the already struggling hospitality industry.

“I assume the covid charge is for the extra cleaning of your table and other touch points, if you don't work in retail or food service you've no idea how much extra time is taken up sanitising everywhere,” one person wrote.

But others working in customer service responded saying not all stores were passing the extra cost onto customers.

“I work in retail and we accept we all have to do a lot of extra cleaning. And we manage that without increasing prices or expecting an extra charge for it,” a user wrote.

After the original post made headlines, a spokesperson for Mulligans of Sandymount told local outlet Dublin Live they hoped their visitors would “understand”.

"I hope people would understand why that charge is on the receipt and what it's going towards," Dublin Live reported.

When asked to detail what the charge was for, the pub reportedly refused to comment further.

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