Customer calls out Rochester restaurant for employee wellness fee
(ABC 6 News) – When you go to a restaurant you expect to pay for what you eat, and hopefully plan on leaving a tip.
But what about paying for the staff’s health insurance?
That’s what caught the eye of a customer at Five West Kitchen and Bar in Rochester.
A customer shared a photo of her bill in a now-deleted Facebook post that there is a 2% employee wellness fee at the restaurant.
The charge wasn’t printed on the menu, so some customers might not even notice they’re paying it.
Some say the restaurant is going too far.
“I did not know that they were charging that so when I go in now, I think I will ask that it be removed,” Dave Gehrke said.
ABC 6 News reached out to the restaurant’s owner, Ryan Brevig, who said the fee was added last month and the response has actually been pretty positive.
Brevig said it’s allowed the majority of his workers to get health insurance and they otherwise wouldn’t, and it only covers a portion of what the restaurant pays.
He said he had done research into metro-area restaurants implementing similar policies for about 6 months before starting it, as he thinks it’s becoming more and more popular in the hospitality industry.
“The hospitality industry is notorious for its staff not having health insurance, or not having be easily accessible. Since we started all this, new enrollments have been coming in every week,” Brevig said.
He also said that his restaurant isn’t the only one that does this, and it is likely something more will start doing in the future.