'These Fees Are Getting Out of Hand': Diner Claims She Was Charged 5% Fee At Restaurant to Support Employee Health Care

One diner in Southern California was surprised to see a charge on her bill this month that she hadn't seen before — a 5% "employee health fee."

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By Emily Rella

Throughout the pandemic, many restaurants charged customers extra fees to compensate for revenue lost during that period.

But one diner in Southern California was surprised to see a charge on her bill this month that she hadn't seen before — a 5% "employee health fee."

While dining at Osteria La Buca in Sherman Oaks, California, TikToker Ashley Nichole says she scanned the bill with her friend and noticed something by the tip selection section on her bill before showing viewers a copy of the receipt.

@ashnichole_xo Is this normal?? #greenscreen #receipt #employeehealth #restaurant ♬ original sound - Ashley Nichole

"If you notice down here, towards the bottom, there is a $4.75 charge for employee health," she said. "Immediate thought was, what is employee health? What does that mean?"

Related: Restaurants Are Adding 'Inflation Fees' to Customer Checks

The TikToker then asked the hostess, who told her the funds went toward employee health care funds.

"Have I been living under a rock, and this is a normal thing, or is this weird," she asked viewers. "Because I've never experienced this before, and it feels weird, but maybe this is normal elsewhere."

The commentary sparked a debate in the comment section, with viewers giving mixed opinions on whether or not this charge was necessary or warranted.

"I'm sorry, but I'm not paying for this. Just tax and tip. Health care should be covered by the employer," one user said bluntly. "These fees are getting out of hand."

"Listen. Any business that offers health care is ultimately passing that cost off on customers," another suggested. "But like why not just raise menu prices a little?"

The clip has been viewed over 887,800 times.

Osteria La Buca's decision follows countless other restaurants that have added COVID recovery and inflation-related fees to unsuspecting customers when they receive their bills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the CPI for 'Food Away from Home' (which includes restaurant and takeout prices) increased 8.3% year over year from December 2021 to December 2022.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

News Writer

Emily Rella is a news writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

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