Some San Diego restaurants adding surcharges; City Attorney investigating

SAN DIEGO – If you have eaten out since the beginning of the year, you may have noticed a small fee at the end of your bill labeled, “government mandated surcharge.”

Now, San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott is investigating to determine if California business laws and professional codes have been broken. “Our concern is there is no government mandated fee that should be passed on to a consumer. And when a consumer is going to that restaurant, they are seeing a base price that does not necessarily have that surcharge. So it is a surprise and it is not explained in our opinion consistent with what California law requires.

Elliott says customers should not be fed false or misleading advertising.  Some mom and pop restaurants say they are considering raising some prices to offset the hike in minimum wage rather than insert a surcharge.

The City Attorney’s office says they have received numerous complaints.  Some analysts say restaurant owners should raise their prices and let the consumer decide on whether to purchase the meal.

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