Outrage Sweeps the Land as a Restaurant Adds a 5% 'Covid-19' Surcharge

The other day I brought you the story of the Cape Cod ice cream shop across from where my mother-in-law lives that re-opened and then had to re-close because the post-quarantine "new normal" is obviously going to include major portions of the "old douchbaggery." 

Well I'm happy to report we visited Nana for her socially-distanced birthday and Polar Cave is back open for business. One would hope that lessons were learned. That we'll learn to be more patient, tolerant and understanding. And most of all, that we'll have a better perspective on what is really important as we face this uncertain future. 

But one would be wrong about that.

NY Post - The owners of a Missouri restaurant are pleading with people online to stop harassing their employees after a customer posted a photo of their receipt that showed she was charged a “Covid 19 surcharge” for a meal.

The customer posted the photo of the receipt from Kiko Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Lounge in West Plains on May 11, writing: “Scuse me … what? A covid surcharge…?”

The tweet went viral, and Twitter users began hurling insults at the staff of the restaurant for the surcharge, the steakhouse wrote in a Facebook post.

They wrote that the surcharge was applied because of an increase in the price of meat and poultry because of the coronavirus outbreak. …

In response to the backlash, the restaurant said it would take the surcharge off and instead raise their prices across the board. 

For context, here's part of Kiko Japanese Steakhouse's Facebook post:

Recently our employees been getting harassed due to some peoples miss-use the actual picture of our receipt from our actual customer that being going around on social media, even trending on twitter due to the surcharge title!!

Please understand we are not doing this to take advantage of you guys! We are doing this hoping we can adjust the surcharge weekly rather than just raise all of our prices on our menu due to increase prices from our supplier on meat,poultry,seafood & produce. Almost all of us here getting our supply through the same supplier. So why are we the one that being harassed??!! Stop calling names to my employees!!

Listen, if you resent being handed a bill with hidden fees you didn't know about up front, I stand with you. Nothing sucks quite like renting a car or a hotel room and then finding out the price you were quote was the price, but here's what you actually owe us thanks to the airport tax, the ethanol surcharge, the carbon emissions global climate change offset, the steering wheel depreciation fee, or the hotel's "Keep Politician's Relatives on the Government Payroll by Making Tourists Pay the Freight" room tax. I mean, nobody runs that scam more than colleges and university, where the "tuition" accounts for about half the cost and another 40% or so is a "course fee." What's the difference, exactly? Simple. It's the difference between "bait" and "switch." 

But all that could be avoided by just simply being upfront ahead of time about any extras you're charging. In Kiko's case, a banner on top of their website, a mention of it on all phone orders, a sign on the front door, another sign in the line you get in to pay. That way customers know what it's going to cost. No surprises. Just like places do when they charge an automatic 17% tip on all large groups. One surcharge, everybody knows the rules. 

That said, what the actual titty fuck are we doing here? This what we're outraged about? THIS? A $2.19 charge on Talia's $43.85 order? That's what's got the public so bunched in the panties that they're verbally abusing servers and cooks in a restaurant that's probably barely surviving with supply chains stretched to the limit?

Holy fucking moly. For two months we've been hearing predictions that a frightening percentage of restaurants and small businesses might never open again. When this thing started, there was talk of no restaurants being allowed to open. Not even for takeout. Now we're slowing getting them back. The staffs are scared of losing their low-paying jobs. Owners are trying to scratch out a living for themselves and keeping their workers employed. And customers are losing their feeble, over-medicated minds over being asked to pay five bucks per 100 in order to keep the place afloat.

I say "asked to pay," because the last time I checked, going to someone's business and paying them to prepare meals for you was still voluntary. (Until The Man starts ordering us to do it just to keep the capitalist power structure going, amirite?!?) There are other ways to get food. Stores are open. Other restaurant alternatives. You can go out into the woods and forage. But it takes a special breed of asshole to take to social media demanding justice like your rights have been violated or to support someone who's this upset about two dollars and 19 cents. The sense of entitlement is just galling. Duke them a little extra for their trouble, fercrissakes. Or stay home and cook.

We wanted restaurants to stay in business and now that they're opening again, some of us are picking nits about how long their double cone of Cookie Dough is taking and prices being 5% higher. And rather than just say, "We'll I'm not coming back here again," while going home and enjoying their Southern Belle Roll - or simply saying "Cancel my order," they take to the social medias with their victimhood. Like Prof. Jonathan Haidt told Joe Rogan, it's not "cancel culture" as much as it's "call out culture." 

And it's time we start calling out the ones calling people out. 

As I hear these stories more and more, the easier it's going to be for me to keep social distancing. Stay home, stay sane.