As businesses across the country begin to reopen, they are facing added costs to comply with social distancing guidelines while operating at less than full capacity. As a result, many businesses, already struggling after being shut down for more than two months, are adding surcharges onto their customers' bills to cover the new expenses.
The Upper Hand Salon in Houston, Texas, spent thousands of dollars so they could safely reopen and decided to charge their customers a $3 "sanitation charge."
"I think, as a whole, the industry is stepping up and really making sure we're doing this right," the salon's owner Rachel Gower told KTRK. "The cost of reopening includes all the extra supplies that we need and all the cleaning supplies that we need. It's worth it! It's absolutely worth it!"
In Jacksonville, Florida, a dentist sparked the ire of a patient after adding a $10 surcharge to the bill.
"It's helping us be safe, but we shouldn't be held accountable for that," Buck added.
In Missouri, a Japanese restaurant tried to tack on a five percent charge to the bill, which upset many of its customers. After diners started to harass the staff, the owners decided to cut the surcharge. Instead, they raised their prices across the board to cover the cost of their added expenses.
While customers may not be happy with the new fees, business owners say they need to recoup their losses. In Michigan, Brad White, who owns Goog's Pub & Grub, said he put a $1 charge on the bill in an effort to be transparent about the new fees.
"Other places are just raising their price and not telling you," White told WXMI. "It's going to be a while before the food industry, the suppliers catch up. If the industry's prices are going to stay, it's going to affect people down the road just as much as it is now."
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