Via Reddit comes news to me:
Can someone please explain to me this SF specific tax?
And here it is:
“A 15% surcharge has been added to your bill to help offset rising employer costs in SF”
The degredients are listed so it wasn’t hard to see that this is poorly-rated Mijita Cocina Mexicana (1 Ferry Bldg, Ste 44, San Francisco, CA 94111, Embarcadero, SoMa, South Beach) we’re talking about here.
SO, I’m familiar with the high costs of doing business in San Francisco.
AND, I know aboot bogus 4% surcharges already, eh?
But FIFTEEN (15!) PERCENT? That’s beyond the pale.
Now let’s here from the horse’s mouth (or whatever), you know, herself: From Fast Company: “Educate customers about cost increases, and find creative ways to pass them on.”
When the health-care mandate was passed three years ago, Des Jardins was already paying half of her employee’s health care, so as a line on her P&L, the costs were already significant. The change made them “unsustainable,” she says, and even then they didn’t impose cost increases for customers for six months. Today, each bill at Jardiniére comes with a 4% line-item surcharge labeled “Stay healthy, San Francisco.” “We tried to build the cost into [the menu], but you’ve got different trends in what sells and what doesn’t, so it didn’t work to cover the cost,” she says. “It was rough in the beginning, but local people have gotten used to it—they realize that they voted it in. It’s harder for people from out of town, but it’s a lot like staying in a hotel—you get the hotel price, and then 20% later, you’ve paid your bill.”
So, this was back in the day, and at another joint (the not poorly rated Jardinere), but it shows the mindset. Let’s go:
1. So, there are “creative ways” to pass on cost increases and there are HONEST ways, right?
2. It “didn’t work to cover the cost?” What does this mean? Does it mean that you couldn’t simply raise prices? But oh yes you could!
3. “They voted it in?” IDTS! First of all, the “voters” in this case were the eleven members of the Board of Supervisors, not your typical customer of Traci Des Jardins. Second of all, they didn’t vote to impose a surcharge, which is simply something that some local restaurateurs decided to do on their own.
4. And it’s “harder for people from out of town” because, because some of them realize, only too late, that they’ve been led down le chemin de [Traci] Jardin[s], or led down the garden path, right?
Now I’ve seen gas stations do the same thing, do the same kind of pouting, but, similarly, it’s tout a fait inapproprie, amiright?
And, speaking of which, what if a gas station advertised on its big signs the price per gallon BEFORE a random “15% surcharge” gets added in – would we tolerate that?
Oh, and another thing – this, this here is wrong wrong wrong:
Now what if somebody from our CA State Board of Equalization (The Nation’s Second-Largest Tax Agency, I’m srsly) looked inside the four corners of this receipt. S/he would say, “Oh, the owner of this joint has gone stir crazy and is now charging customers a 23.75% sales tax. Ergo, all this money needs to be remitted to the great State of California.” I’m srsly.
So, what “Celebrity Chef” Tracy Des Jardins should do is raise her prices 15%, or whatever she wants – I don’t care, and then ditch the absurd surcharge, which, you know, should be illegal. (Oh what’s that, you’ll go out of bidness? Fine, who cares. Make room for somebody else at Ferry Building Stall #44.)
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