HANCOCK PARK (CBSLA.com) — A local restaurant has added a surcharge to every tab in order to pay for its employees’ healthcare.
République, located on La Brea, is emerging as one of LA’s more popular, newer restaurants. However, the three percent surcharge is bringing about mixed reactions from the restaurant’s customers.
One critic on the review site, Yelp, claimed: “It’s not MY responsibility to take care of YOUR employees’ healthcare… that’s YOUR job.”
“Everyone has the same policy that I do as the owners,” owner and chef Walter Manske said. “And we offer it to everyone; (the) dishwasher, busboy, waiters, across the board.”
Manske says that, ultimately, it is up to the customer whether to take the surcharge out of the gratuity.
There are other customers, however, who don’t mind the surcharge on the basis of healthcare for workers.
“Adding it to the tip, or taking it away from the tip is normal, and I think it’s important that everybody has healthcare within the restaurants,” customer Chris Jordan said.
Under Obamacare, businesses like République, that have over 50 full-time employees, are required by law to provide affordable healthcare benefits.
Manske, meanwhile, says that the surcharge system is the solution to that requirement that works for the restaurant and that most feedback has been positive.
“Even if this isn’t the perfect solution, it’s definitely a solution, and so far, there isn’t any other solution.”