Like many restaurants nationwide, some establishments in the D.C. metropolitan region have resorted to charging customers an extra fee for service to blunt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dan Simons, the owner of Founding Farmers, told WTTG-TV (Channel 5) that he’s temporarily had to implement a 5% fee to help pay for employee benefits and other necessary costs, though he waives the fee upon customer request.
Another restaurant owner said its new fee pays for personal protective gear for both employees and customers, WTTG reported.
D.C.’s economy was ravaged in the pandemic’s early stages, with many downtown eateries effectively hamstrung amid shutdowns and rigid preventative measures.
But even as coronavirus-related restrictions eased and vaccines became widely available, late-summer data from the National Restaurant Association showed that the industry has yet to fully rebound, with 63% of restaurants reporting lower sales in August 2021 than in August 2019, WTTG reported.