Photo credit:

Surcharge Woes: Response to Inside Scoop SF

Recently, I have had many guests approach me about a 4% surcharge that has been tacked on to the bill at the restaurant I work at in SF. Michael Bauer, the Food and Wine Editor for SF Chronicle even posed the question this week…”Do you give a smaller tip at restaurants that include the surcharge?”

Being an employee at one of these restaurants I will say customers are not happy about this surcharge and personally I don’t blame them. Additionally, at my place of business the verbage we are to use describing it is evasive to say the least, “The city of San Francisco has many ordinances and taxes different from the rest of the state of California, thus to account for the added costs we include the surcharge to offset these additional costs.” Guests want to know where and why they are paying 5 dollars more on top of regular sales tax, I would like to say, “unfortunately, our owner finds it too expensive to do business in San Francisco the place he chose to open his restaurant, knowing that the minimum wage is higher here, knowing we do do not qualify for tip credits, where he is required to provide health plans and paid sick leave among other things. While you are here paying 30 dollars a plate and 15 dollars for a glass of wine, he wants you to also help him pay for the things he should be taking care of himself because he chose to do business in San Francisco.” But alas, I must gloss over the facts and blame these alleged taxes and ordinances for the surcharge. That being said, I do see the point many of Mr. Bauer’s readers make by deducting the surcharge from the tip, however, that only hurts the staff, the owner still has his money in his pocket.

From the comments section:

Scarman: Will tip less and not go back. Nobody is helping me pay for my Obamacare plan that cost me $200 more / month

Well scarman, no one is helping us pay ours either, and since we HAVE to get one, this system doesn’t really make sense since the 4% is supposed to be for health care but we can’t use it to pay premiums, so where does it go, I don’t know?

Plugger1 says: Tipping has gotten out of hand. First it was 10%, then 15%, now 20% is expected. I think I’ll stop tipping all together. I hope more people will.

Plugger1, if you and everyone else stops tipping then you will become more accustomed to pouring your drinks from the soda machine, ordering from a counter, and picking your own table at a fast casual. Another possibility is instead of paying 20 dollars for that steak you’ll be paying 24 and instead of 10 dollars for a glass on wine you’ll pay 12, and so on, still paying the same as tipping but guess what you won’t have your precious “power” over the waitstaff

DearBob:”I have friends who automatically deduct that percentage — generally 3 to 4% — from the bill, and I understand the reasoning: This money goes to pay employee benefits”

But it doesn’t. It’s just an opportunity for restaurateurs to pad their own pockets. This was clear a year or two ago, when the city attorney went after several restaurants who charged a surcharge, supposedly for Healthy San Francisco, but the charge was many, many times more than what Healthy San Francisco cost them.

Look, don’t be tightwads. Anything the restaurant puts on the bill, is for the restaurant. Don’t use that as an excuse to stiff people who already make very little money. If it’s the principle of it, complain to the restaurant management. If it’s an economic issue, then rethink whether or not you can afford to eat out.


The bottom line is don’t take it out on us folks, I’ve seen many people who straight up won’t tip if they see the surcharge (and from reading the comments section on Mr. Bauer’s article). Let’s get this straight, its not our call, we didn’t get to decide we wanted to participate, hell I didn’t even live in the city when Healthy SF was passed, I have paid for a personal insurance policy for years, but still many times a week get stiffed or severely under tipped because of people’s disdain for the surcharge. Let’s do something about it, because obviously no one cares for it, except the restaurant owners that is.


Comment navigation

  • Darrin

    September 6, 2014

    I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a
    lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time, there is an online tool that creates readable, google friendly posts in seconds,
    just search in google – k2seotips unlimited content

  • mediterranean -style diet

    September 6, 2014

    Usually I don’t read article on blogs, however I wish to say that
    this write-up very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me.
    Thank you, very nice post.

  • Great website. A lot of helpful information here. I’m sending it to a few
    friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thank you
    to your effort!

  • I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all
    is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
    I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% sure. Any suggestions or advice would be
    greatly appreciated. Kudos

  • Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you, However I am having
    issues with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to subscribe to it.
    Is there anybody having identical RSS problems?
    Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond?

  • Çerçeve Kaldır !

    September 7, 2014

    This post offers clear idea in support of the new users
    of blogging, that genuinely how to do blogging and site-building.

  • Torrents

    September 8, 2014

    Maintain sufficient chicken toys inside top section of the bird cage to provide some sensation of privateness, permitting your canine friend
    parrot to conceal around them. A different method to manage your downloads is
    actually to sync them up relating to the PC as well as
    your Blackberry. You will not have to wait hours one which just actually watch a movie.

  • promotion sbobet

    September 10, 2014

    Hi Dear, are you in fact visiting this site regularly, if so then you
    will definitely get pleasant know-how.

  • pinis extenders on ebay

    September 11, 2014

    Wow, amazing weblog layout! How long have you been blogging for?

    you make running a blog look easy. The total glance of your website is fantastic,
    let alone the content material!

  • feeling dizzy

    September 13, 2014

    Wow! In the end I got a website from where I be capable of
    truly obtain helpful information concerning my study and knowledge.

  • webcam for windows 8

    September 13, 2014

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog
    that’s both educative and interesting, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    The issue is an issue that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy that I found this in my search for something relating
    to this.

  • Exceptional post but I was wondering if you could
    write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Thank you!

  • Wow! At last I got a webpage from where I be able to truly take
    helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.

  • my explanation

    September 16, 2014

    This piece of writing gives clear idea in support of the new viewers of
    blogging, that actually how to do blogging and site-building.

  • twitter

    September 18, 2014

    I like what you guys tend to be up too. Such clever work
    and coverage! Keep up the great works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll.

  • firearms classifieds

    September 19, 2014

    It’s difficult to find experienced people in this particular subject, but you
    seem like you know what you’re talking about!


  • subway surfers download pc

    September 19, 2014

    My spouse and I stumbled over here by a different page and thought I might as well check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you. Look forward to going
    over your web page repeatedly.

  • trade car view

    September 19, 2014

    The language reflects Kenya’s colorful history; it incorporates words from Arabic, Portuguese and even German origin. Auto Access Japan is a family run company that has been exporting quality Japanese used cars all over the world.
    It occurs fairly often when dealerships
    offer one of these deal in addition to other cash rebates and incentives together.

  • justin bieber accessories

    September 19, 2014

    Buying women’s fragrances or aroma compounds, certain fixatives and
    a tiny patch of skin conditions such as a fragrance might be calling key perfume justin bieber Justin Bieber, who earlier tweeted the snap,
    Mr. Why would Justin Bieber released his debut album and joined Pitbull

  • Trials Frontier hack

    September 20, 2014

    I like the valuable information you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly.
    I am quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!


    September 20, 2014

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright violation? My website has
    a lot of completely unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but
    it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any
    techniques to help stop content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  • making money on clickbank

    September 20, 2014

    It’s actually a great and useful piece of information. I am
    glad that you shared thi useful info with us. Plase sttay us informed
    like this. Thank youu for sharing.

  • Chassidy

    September 20, 2014

    Enhance the effect of an elliptical machine as a 24hr fitness trainer, by deciding upon a
    machine that also capabilities handlebars for a incredibly effective total human body exercise.
    Consult with your physician about doctor prescribed medicines and put
    together a support group. ” As a result of the fact that physical education programs are being cut, the U.

  • casino

    September 20, 2014

    Hello, I would like to subscribe for this weblog to take most up-to-date
    updates, therefore where can i do it please help out.

  • achat kamas

    September 20, 2014

    Appreciation to my father who stated to me about this web site, this web site is actually

  • contemporary living room design

    September 21, 2014

    Hi there, I wish for to subscribe for this web site to obtain hottest updates,
    so where can i do it please help out.

  • Sildenafil

    September 21, 2014

    This page truly has all of the info I wanted concerning
    this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  • remington gun safes sportsman

    September 22, 2014

    If individuals are delivering a 21 gun secure to
    your house they’ll put two plus two toghether.


    September 22, 2014

    Thanks for some other excellent post. The place else may anybody
    get that kind of information in such an ideal method of writing?
    I have a presentation subsequent week, and I am on the look for such information.

  • casually serious

    September 23, 2014

    Hey There. I discovered your blog the usage of
    msn. This is an extremely neatly written article.

    I’ll make sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your helpful info.
    Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  • facebook hack

    September 23, 2014

    It’s difficult to find experienced people in this particular topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking
    about! Thanks

  • basketball gear for women

    September 24, 2014

    You are so awesome! I don’t think I havfe rread anything like this
    before. So great to discover someone with a
    few genuine thoughts on this issue. Seriously..
    many thanks for starting this up. This website is one thing that’s needxed on the web, someone with some originality!

  • Great beat ! I would like to apprentice whilst you amend your site, how could i subscribe
    for a blog site? The account helped me a applicable
    deal. I were a little bit acquainted of this your
    broadcast offered shiny transparent concept

  • ice bucket challenge

    September 24, 2014

    I always spent my half an hour to read this website’s content everyday along with a cup of coffee.

  • boom beach diamond hack

    September 25, 2014

    Asking questions are in fact nice thing if you are not understanding anything fully, but this paragraph offers
    nice understanding even.

  • successful online

    September 25, 2014

    They are seen as a source of information provided by Internet users across the world.
    Test it, change it and see what works try to make one dollar from doing this one thing.
    The articles that you produce with article marketing are commonly known as ‘free reprint articles’, this is because online publishers are able to republish them online free
    of charge.

  • best mirrorless Camera 2014

    September 25, 2014

    Hi colleagues, how is all, and what you wish for to say on the topic of this article, in my view its truly amazing in support of


    September 26, 2014

    Their critical negative attitudes have caused them to miss much
    of the joy of married life. While this is true
    in every generation, since our time is quite toxic towards
    boys we need to be very careful about the influences
    and values being taught to them. If Kevin Kolb is the opening day starter next season, he may have more pressure on him than any other quarterback in the league.


    September 30, 2014

    My spouse and I stumbled over here different website and thought I might as well check
    things out. I like what I see so i am just following you.
    Look forward to looking at your web page yet again.

Comment navigation

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field