Prices are rising in nearly every industry. As politicians argue who is at fault and why their plan to combat rising prices is the best, consumers continue to feel the impact. The prices at your favorite restaurants and bars are also feeling the push and that is trickling down to the people paying the bill. Here are how those impacts are hitting the customers and what they can do to feel less of a pinch.
Review the bill and tip in cash
Many states are making moves to increase the tipped minimum wage. Those efforts face opposition frequently from the owners of the establishments and tipped workers as well. Many point to the issue that the owners are using the increases as a threat that layoffs and closures will come because they can’t cover the new salaries. Workers point to the idea that many of them get paid more in tips than they will with the new wage increase. Either way, those increases are rolling down to the customers through either increased prices for items, ambiguous service charges, or outright line items that point toward the legislation at hand as an increase on your bill.
Now, it is more important to review your bill at the table. Look at every charge and make it a point to ask about anything that doesn’t look correct or ask for clarity. Some states have mandated that restaurants make each charge clear to give customers all the information necessary. Customers are opting to no longer tip or tip less thanks to these additional fees.
If you have questions about the additional fees but still want to make sure your wait staff are properly tipped, bring cash to put directly in their hand.
Paying in cash might come back
Speaking of cash, customers may want to bring cash when going out to eat. Many restaurants are adding additional charges to the bill when customers opt to pay with a credit or debit card. They reason is that since credit card processing fees are increasing, that cost will be transferred over to the customer as well. Again, many states are requiring that establishments inform customers of this additional charge and not just slap it on the bill without notification.
However, it’s important to note that some restaurants are moving toward a cashless payment structure. This practice is going to come to a head with customers not wanting to pay credit card fees.
Knowing what’s coming is an important part of being an informed customer. Restaurants and bars are looking for ways to protect their bottom line in the face of changing societal expectations around costs and staff salaries. Pay attention to what is going on in your area and how it impacts your favorite establishments.