Outraged diner pays $34 for a single cocktail, and won’t believe the bar’s sneaky ‘surcharge’
- Diner outraged over restaurant surcharges
- The restaurant added a 6.5 percent ‘place surcharge’
- Australians have complained about the ‘sneaky’ tactic
A Sydney diner has been left in shock after a popular restaurant added a sneaky surcharge to his tab that left him paying a whopping $34 for a single cocktail.
The man had ordered a Cadillac Mango Margarita at one of the El Camino Cantina restaurants on Friday night.
When she checked her bill, she was surprised to discover that in addition to the $32 price of the drink, she had been charged an unexpected $2.08 “venue surcharge” and an additional 0.46 cent card processing fee.
El Camino Cantina is owned by the Pacific Concepts restaurant group, formerly part of the Rockpool Dining Group.
A diner was shocked after realizing that Sydney restaurant El Camino Cantina had charged him a 6.5 per cent “place surcharge”.
The angry customer said news.com.au not only were the prices already ‘extremely high’, there was a 6.5 percent charge on the spot, a credit card charge, plus a tip request.
‘This is all to be paid for by the restaurant as an expense they provide…can’t they claim that in taxes as a business expense anyway?’ he said.
The client said he was now hesitant to go to restaurants since he discovered the sneaky tactic.
“I’m appalled at the way companies actually destroy customer trust by eating out,” he said.
Pacific Concepts defended the surcharge.
“Card processing fees and service charges are common in the Australian hospitality industry and cover various costs incurred by businesses,” it said.
“We are fully transparent about charges, which are listed on our menus, websites and receipts at all Pacific Concepts restaurants.”
Australians have taken to social media to vent their frustration at restaurants adding surcharges and pushing tips on customers.
However, diners were shocked by the charges, with many expressing their surprise and frustration online.
“Surcharges should be as prominent as the price on the menu, not just in the fine print below menu items,” said one customer.
‘Sneaky fares have been added to the menu at each of your locations, be careful. Stay away,” said another.
Others called management’s ‘continued attempt to enforce tipping’ ‘pathetic’.
The Pacific Concepts restaurant group said it is “fully transparent about charges, which are listed on our menus, websites and receipts.”
QR code requests, which became prevalent during the Covid-19 pandemic, have been criticized by customers for asking for tips before staff have provided any service, let alone tip-worthy service.
Last year, Australians took to social media to plead with hospitality venues to stop copying America’s tipping culture.
Customers said Australians should not be expected to tip in bars and restaurants when wages are high and food and drinks are already among the most expensive in the world.
In the US, these jobs are much lower paying, which lowers costs for the business, with the understanding that staff will earn money from tips.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Pacific Concepts for comment.