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‘They’re counting on you not seeing it’: TikToker issues viral PSA to customers after restaurant includes ‘labor surcharge’ on receipt

'If they can afford to pay their staff for their labor they need to reevaluate internally, not charge customers.'


Stacy Fernandez


Posted on Dec 3, 2021   Updated on Dec 3, 2021, 10:05 am CST

A TikToker called out a Las Vegas restaurant for adding a “labor surcharge” to customers’ bills in a viral video.

The video shows @vegasstarfish green-screened in front of a photo of the receipt from Blondies Sports Bar and Grill. The picture clearly shows a line listed under the sales tax that reads “labor surchage” accompanied by a $2.11 charge.

“It’s not a lot, only $2.11, but they don’t disclose this, and they’re counting on you not seeing it. These fees are bullshit and we should call out restaurants when they add them,” @vegasstarfish says in the video.

Blondies describes itself as a college-style bar and grill with “40 TVs, beer pong, grub, and cheerleading servers.” It has a little over four stars on Google and more than 1,000 reviews.

The Vegas influencer, who boasts over 250,000 followers on TikTok, posted a photo of the full receipt on Instagram. At the bottom is a note about the additional charge, reading: “5% labor surcharge to cover employer manda. This is not a gratuity for service.”

It’s unclear whether the receipt belongs to the TikToker or not.

The TikTok has been viewed more than 45,000 times on the video-sharing app. It was accompanied by the caption, “Not impressed, Blondies.”

Earlier in the year, it became common for restaurants to add a COVID surcharge to account for the financial difficulties and increased price of certain ingredients and products, but this doesn’t appear to be the same kind of fee.

In a TikTok comment, @vegasstarfish agreed that people should avoid the Vegas restaurant and called the fee “such horse shit.” She added that the majority of customers likely don’t notice and get taken advantage of because of it. “Makes me mad,” she said.

The posts on Instagram and TikTok received backlash from commenters who said the company should be responsible to cover these costs, not customers.

“So curious what this actually covers and why it’s on customers and not the employer to fund,” a person on Instagram said.

“It’d be nice if it actually went to servers but we all know that’s not the case,” a TikTok commenter said.

“Wait WHAT!?!?! So we already paying their servers wages with our tips and now we need to pay more?? nooope,” another person said.

“If they can afford to pay their staff for their labor they need to reevaluate internally, not charge customers surcharges to cover the deficit,” a fourth wrote.

The Daily Dot reached out to the Blondies restaurant via Instagram direct message and to @vegasstarfish via TikTok comment and Instagram direct message.

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*First Published: Dec 3, 2021, 8:19 am CST