Some restaurants in parts of New York have introduced a new fee to customer’s bills.

With the cost of living not appearing to be coming down anytime soon, fewer and fewer people are opting to eat out in a bid to save money.

But those who are still dining out at restaurants in Western New York may have spotted something know as a ‘kitchen appreciation fee’ on their checks. This is said to be for those who are ‘ineligible’ for traditional tips.

While the new fee only averages to around three percent, people still aren’t happy; they’re reluctant not to pay it, however.

Speaking to WGRZ-TV, one guy said of the fee: “I was wondering, A, what is this? B, do I have to pay this?

“If it’s optional, you don’t want to be that person that says, ‘Hey, I don’t want to pay this,’ because then you look like a jerk.”

Also weighing in on the matter, president of the New York State Restaurant Association, Melissa Fleischut said to the news outlet: “This is trying to help boost the wages of the kitchen staff.”

The fees average at around three percent.


“The consumers becoming more and more price conscience and adverse to higher prices. Our restaurant owners are [really] afraid of increasing prices so much, you stop coming out,” Fleishchut went on.

But people think that employee’s wages should just be increased instead.

One person commented on WGRZ-TV’s YouTube channel: “What a joke. Pay them more instead of trying to get customers to pay for it. If you do a good job cooking food then you should be payed well. If you want tips be a server.”

“Don’t pay the fee. Ridiculous, they should just pay their workers better,” echoed another.

But someone was more empathetic towards the idea.

People aren't overly pleased about the additional fee.

Grace Cary/Getty Stock

“I was opposed to this at first, but I got a little perspective from my daughter who works the kitchen at a high-end restaurant (not in NY) that uses a 3% back-of-house fee, and I can see where it’s a valid approach to take,” they wrote.

“Basically the workload for the kitchen staff varies based upon how busy the restaurant is, much like the wait staff, but their compensation is generally based on slower periods. On busy nights, the wait staff inevitably does better on tips, but the kitchen sees none of that since wait staff generally does not provide any portion of tips to back-of-house.”

The matter appears to be continuing to divide the opinions of New Yorkers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *