Restaurant fees are relatively common. A restaurant may choose to bill customers more for large groups and substitutions, or in some cases, the restaurant may institute a service charge across orders regardless of group size.
However, an under-discussed area of restaurant billing is “to-go fees”—fees added onto an order placed for takeaway.
While these fees are acknowledged in a bill, many do not realize they are being charged this fee at all, as a recent video from TikTok user and Waffle House employee Briana (@nanaspage26) explains.
In a clip with over 284,000 views, Briana shows a bill in which the items ordered cost $13. By the end, the bill for the to-go order is $15.60. The discrepancy comes from two separate 10% charges; one is a “service charge,” while the other is a “supply fee.”
@nanaspage26 Replying to @blvckqueen1999 #fyp #nanaspage26 #fees ♬ original sound – Briana
While some may blame inflation, to-go fees at Waffle House are not a recent development.
In 2018, the chain confirmed in a tweet that it charges additional fees on to-go orders. That said, it listed the fee at just 10%.
“Waffle House does charge a 10% service charge on all to-go orders,” the tweet reads. “Before implementing this policy, we found most other businesses in our industry either figure the charges into their everyday menu board prices or use a separate menu for to-go orders.”
However, it seems that a 20% fee is becoming more common. A Reddit post from earlier in the week noted the practice was widespread across Waffle House locations, with users speculating the increase in cost may be an attempt to encourage customers to dine in, or as a way to offset the costs of providing to-go containers.
Back on TikTok, users expressed their dismay at this discovery.
“And that’s why I don’t tip when I do to go,” wrote one user.
“Service charge fee supply fee what the heck is that. How is this legal,” questioned another. “I’m done with places like this tipping is out of hand. People need to boycott.”
“I always tip but if you include a to go fee you not getting no tip,” echoed a third.
That said, some were understanding about the fees.
“I’m surprised more places don’t do this!” exclaimed a user. “All those to go containers cost money too. I’d pay it no worries and tip too.”
“The best food for your dollar and you gonna be stingy about paying for to go fees? I’d pay double and still be cheaper than mcd,” alleged a second.
“Gotta pay for the take-out container WH food is so good and cheap that you can still afford to tip even with take-out,” offered a further TikToker.
Update 2:20pm CT, Nov. 30: In an email to Daily Dot, a Waffle House spokesperson shared the following: “For many years, our ‘To-Go’ policy has included a 10-percent service charge added to all ‘To-Go’ orders for the servers who prepare the meals. We recently added a 10 percent supply fee to all ‘To-Go’ orders for the cost of the ‘To-Go’ supplies. We have communicated this new supply fee with signage in multiple places inside our restaurants, including at our cash registers.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Briana via TikTok comment.