SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Diners at Che Fico Alimentari on Divisadero Street are seeing a new notice at the top of their menus, alerting them of a 10% dine-in charge.
The added cost is meant to help provide a living wage and benefits for the staff in the wake of the pandemic. It also goes toward paying for high quality, local products.READ MORE: Smash-And-Grab Thieves Hit San Jose Eastridge Mall Jewelry Store; 5 Sought
“The dining-in charge is a specific charge that you will only pay for when you dine within our restaurant,” said Chef & Owner David Nayfeld. “You’re paying for the extra costs for us to employ servers, for us to employ food runners, for us to employ back servers, expediters, dish washers.”
Nayfeld said he wanted to be transparent about what diners were paying for and why, instead of hiking menu prices.
Che Fico Alimentari among a handful of restaurants in the Bay Area adding fees, as they recover from the financial impact of the pandemic.
“People have moved here and the rents, restaurants have become more expensive during the pandemic, the supply chains have broken down, and it’s become very expensive,” Nayfeld added. “There’s all sorts of things that have happened and at the end of the day all the operators are really trying to do the same thing – they’re trying to make their businesses profitable.”READ MORE: COVID Omicron Variant Detected In Los Angeles, New York, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado
Food costs have also skyrocketed, and restaurants are still struggling to find workers.
Diners who spoke with KPIX 5 understand the challenges.
“It’s just more expensive to run the restaurant right now, and people are making up for lost sales over the past year. I don’t mind paying it, I’m happy to do it, especially because it’s such a cool experience in here,” said Matt Williams of San Jose. “It’s definitely worth the 10%, if it’s 15%, I’m good with it.”
Nancy Hale of San Francisco supports the restaurant’s decision.
“I don’t want to act like who cares, because some people here probably have more money than others, I don’t,” she said. “But I’d rather come less often and make it that kind of an experience.”MORE NEWS: Investigation Finds Vallejo Officer's Use of Deadly Force Not 'Reasonable'
The restaurant also makes clear that the dine-in charge is separate from gratuity.