Reddit Users Expose LA Restaurants That Charge Sneaky Fees


A recent Reddit post has sparked a heated debate among Los Angeles diners about the practice of adding unexpected service fees to restaurant bills. The post, which was shared on the r/LosAngeles subreddit, lists over 100 restaurants that charge extra fees for various reasons, such as health insurance, kitchen staff, or administration. The post also includes a spreadsheet that tracks the amount and explanation of each fee, as well as whether tipping is still expected or not.


Why are restaurants charging extra fees?

According to Vox’s Recode, the pandemic has caused many challenges for the restaurant industry, such as rising costs of ingredients, labor, and credit card transactions. Some restaurants have decided to pass on these costs to consumers by adding surcharges to their bills, instead of raising menu prices or cutting staff. However, these fees are often not disclosed upfront or clearly explained to customers, leading to confusion and frustration.

Some of the fees are also related to health care laws that require small businesses to provide health insurance plans to their employees. While some restaurants may use the fees to cover these costs and benefit their workers, others may keep the fees for themselves or use them for other purposes.

How are customers reacting to the fees?

Many customers are unhappy with the fees and feel that they are being deceived or ripped off by the restaurants. Some customers have expressed their anger on social media, while others have left negative reviews or ratings on platforms like Yelp or Google. Some customers have also decided to boycott the restaurants that charge the fees or reduce their tips accordingly.

Some customers have also questioned the legality and ethics of the fees, especially if they are not going toward the workers’ welfare or if they are not clearly communicated. According to KTLA’s resident business analyst David Lazarus, the fees are a “deceptive business practice” that violates consumer protection laws.

How are restaurants defending the fees?

Some restaurants have defended the fees and argued that they are necessary to survive in a competitive and challenging market. Some restaurants have also claimed that they are transparent about the fees and inform customers before they order or pay. Some restaurants have also said that they are trying to support their workers and provide them with fair wages and benefits.

Some restaurants have also pointed out that the fees are optional and can be removed upon request. However, some customers have reported that they were not given this option or that they felt pressured or embarrassed to ask for it.

What can customers do to avoid the fees?

Customers who want to avoid the fees can take some steps to protect themselves and their wallets. Some of these steps include:

  • Checking the menu or website of the restaurant before visiting to see if they charge any fees and what they are for.
  • Asking the server or manager about the fees before ordering or paying and requesting them to be removed if possible.
  • Comparing prices and fees among different restaurants and choosing the ones that offer the best value and service.
  • Supporting local restaurants that do not charge extra fees or that use them for good causes.
  • Reporting any deceptive or fraudulent practices to consumer protection agencies or authorities.

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