DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — Rack’s Fish House and Oyster bar at 5 SE 2nd Avenue is charging a 3 percent “operations fee” for what is being described as COVID-19 cleaning and related supplies. The “operations fee” is slightly visible on the restaurant’s online menu.
According to the Sun Sentinel (link below), which first reported the surcharge, owner Gary Rack claims, “Food and cleaning costs are out of control.” He is also surcharging Gary Rack’s Farmhouse Kitchen in Delray Beach and Boca Raton.
We want to know if other restaurants in the area — or other businesses for that matter — are charging similar fees. If you encounter or experience surcharges for COVID, please take a photo and email us at news(at)bocanewsnow.com.
To be clear: it’s likely not illegal nor a violation of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation codes to charge an additional fee — so long as it is clear before you are charged or sold anything.
It is, however, ethically challenged.
Smart businesses should be figuring out how to conduct business in a smarter, leaner way — not in a manner that charges customers additional fees for the privilege of patronizing their business.
Our view: any business that is assessing fees should be avoided and replaced with a business that is trying to make it work without charging customers more. Business expenses are exactly that — business expenses. They are a tax deduction. Not a profit center to be charged to customers.
If you are charged a fee without being told in advance, don’t forget that you can always dispute a charge with your credit card company. The merchant will be charged a fee if they lose, and you will receive a refund. Instructions vary for Amex, Visa, Mastercard and Discover. Look for the specific instructions on your credit card’s website.
If the charge is egregious, also consider filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of Palm Beach County.
Sun Sentinel link.
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