- Legal States
Fiona Simmons June 14, 2020 3 min read
Las Vegas Eateries Add COVID-related Surcharges to Cope with Downturn
With restaurants and eateries slowly reopening on the Las Vegas Strip, a new 4% surcharge has been introduced to help cover the costs of complying with health measures.
Some Eateries on Las Vegas Strip Introduce Mandatory Coronavirus Surcharges
Restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip have introduced a new surcharge to cover all coronavirus-related expenditures, with a 4% fee now added to the bill to help facilities meet safety criteria and stay open. With casinos in the Silver State opening en masse since June 4, the measure is supposed to help food venues introduce a better-quality service.
Eateries to include the new fee include many established restaurants known on the Las Vega Strip, to wit El Segundo Sol at Fashion Show Mall, Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas, Prime Steak & Stone Crab at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, and others.
Commenting on the move, eateries have said that the fee would help them tackle the extra costs they now incur to help everyone stay safe and comply with health and safety protocols. Most eateries offer meals that start at $14 or $17 and can go up to $115 and more.
Support Local Business and See the Place Thrive
The rumor that a new fee had arrived was first caught by Vital Vegas’ Scott Roeben who said that he wanted to see the place [Las Vegas] thrive and that he wouldn’t mind supporting restaurants through the rough patch, as he put it.
Roeben agreed that while he would be against the fees on principle, he was all for helping people through the rough post-COVID-19 period. His opinion matters as he is one of the most prolific restaurant reviewers and has offered insight into many eateries on the Las Vegas Strip. He even got a quote from Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ president, R.J. Melman, who said that the move was a “necessary step during a time when unanticipated costs have jeopardized the survival of our business.”
Melman explained that the industry had been impacted significantly by the COVID-19 lockdown and forced closures adding more costs to running any type of retail business with very little opportunity for a quick recovery.
In fact, by one estimate, it would be years before the industry truly recovers from the lockdown in Las Vegas alone.
Las Vegas Not the Only Place to Introduce Additional Fees
As it happens, coronavirus-related fees are now an expected surcharge, and marking quick adoption across the United States. In places like South Florida and Chicago, some venues have already been adding the surcharge.
One Chicago restaurant even set its surcharge at 26% to the dismay of visitors. After visitors protested, Harold’s Chicken on Broadway reduced the charge to “just 17%.” Meanwhile the “additional fees” keep coming in.
Whether they are a $2 extra on any beef meat or a percentage of the bill to offset staff-related medical bills, business is now looking for alternative sources of revenue and hoping that people would help their favorite eating places ride the storm.