Blue State Does It Again! Food Prices To Surge For Second Time

For those in California already paying high prices to go out to eat you might want to brace yourself because prices are about to surge again.

Starting this summer, if you’re planning to grab a bite in California, you might notice another increase in your bill. This comes hot on the heels of recent hikes due to the state’s new $20 minimum wage for fast-food workers. But there’s more to this story.

The main driver behind this additional increase is a new law that will take effect on July 1st. Signed by Governor Gavin Newsom, this legislation aims to eliminate what are known as “junk fees” in the restaurant industry. Essentially, it bans any added surcharges or fees that restaurants might include on your bill.

Now, these surcharges have been a fairly common practice among many eateries. They’re not just random extras; restaurant owners have used them to fund benefits for their staff, including healthcare. This could be clearly noted on the menus, or sometimes, these fees were optional, left to the discretion of the customers.

But with the new law coming into play, restaurants are facing a bit of a dilemma. Since they can no longer add these surcharges, the only feasible solution for many will be to raise their menu prices. This means that your favorite dishes might cost a bit more than they used to.

This change has stirred quite a bit of discussion, especially within the restaurant community. According to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, this puts restaurants in a tough position. They might have to reconsider how they compensate their staff, possibly moving back to a traditional tipping model, which could lower overall wages. Or, they face the reality of having to increase their prices significantly—by as much as 20% to 25%. While some customers might understand the reason behind these price hikes, it’s a gamble, and the industry is already navigating through challenging times.

Marcia Gagliardi, a noted food writer, echoed this sentiment in a recent interview. She anticipates that restaurant prices could see an increase ranging from 5% to 15%. It’s a tricky situation, and she notes that while the immediate future might see higher costs for diners, things could still change down the line.

“I see restaurants easily raising prices 5%, 15%. It’s going to be tricky,” she told the outlet. “We’re going to be seeing even higher prices based on this unfortunate interpretation. But not all is lost. … Things could change.”

Yes, the surcharges were nonsense, but they were a product of terrible legislation. Those surcharges were how many restaurants survived California COVID regulations and healthcare requirements. Plus, you don’t have to patronize a restaurant with those surcharges, or maybe you want to in order to help a local business. That’s the consumer’s choice, not politicians.

But, you get what you vote for.


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