How transparent are you about costs?
No doubt, restaurants are feeling squeezed with the ongoing pressures of inflation, a tight labor market and even rising transaction fees from credit card companies – and the costs are too high for operators to absorb. As a result, many restaurants are finding creative ways to pass their extra expenses on to consumers. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, fees with such names as “fuel surcharge,” “noncash adjustment” and “kitchen appreciation” have been appearing regularly on restaurant checks in recent weeks. How – and when – you present such costs can have a significant impact on your guests’ response to them. For instance, presenting a surprise list of incidental costs tacked onto a bill can make a guest feel nickel-and-dimed – or worse, that you’re not being honest with them. It’s better to present any added charges under a single umbrella and make guests aware of them at the outset – verbally from the server, in a note on the menu, or both. In a report from Inc., Zachary Weiner, CEO and founder of Finance Hire, an outsourced financial controller for small businesses, said that even though people are well aware of inflation, being transparent about any extra fees and where they are coming from can go a long way in helping guests understand why they are needed.
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