最新蜜桃影像

最新蜜桃影像

Adams Morgan restaurants weigh in on Fed鈥檚 proposed service charge regulation

A restaurant

Some customers at restaurants in Adams Morgan are confused by vague service charges on receipts. The Federal Trade Commission is working to create more transparency on where those dollars go.

Adams Morgan resident John Wilks initially assumed the 鈥渟ervice fee鈥 he paid so frequently at restaurants went to servers and bartenders.

He was wrong.

鈥淔or a while, I thought the money went to the waiter, but I didn鈥檛 realize I was just paying more to the restaurant,鈥 Wilks said. 鈥淚 don鈥檛 understand what I鈥檓 being charged for, but it鈥檇 be cool if more places explained it.鈥澛

The Federal Trade Commission aims to clear up that confusion. The commission in October announced it is looking to manage service fees to ensure consumers understand what they are paying for, according to the 鈥.鈥

This does not necessarily mean the commission will ban service charges, but businesses must clearly state what the charge goes to.

A service charge listed on a menu.
An Adams Morgan restaurant lists its service charge on the menu. The Federal Trade Commission could ban vague fees.

鈥淚t doesn鈥檛 stop me from eating out,鈥 Wilks said. 鈥淏ut, like, where does my money go? Because I know I鈥檓 paying for more than my meal and the waitress.鈥

The proposed rule states it would ban 鈥渦nfair or deceptive practices relating to fees for goods or services, specifically, misrepresenting the total costs of goods and services by omitting mandatory fees from advertised prices and misrepresenting the nature and purpose of fees.鈥

The commission said it believes deceptive or unfair fees are prevalent and the organization needs to address it.

Adams Morgan restaurant owners have mixed feelings about possible changes in how they charge fees.聽

On the one hand, Alana Jackson, manager of Taqueria Al Lado in Adams Morgan, said transparency is important to both restaurants and consumers.聽

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some restaurants added service charges to bills to help run the business. These charges were separate from gratuity, and they ranged from 2% to 20%.

鈥淚 think that [service charges] have caused a lot of animosity from the part of consumers,鈥 Jackson said. 鈥淭hey feel like they don鈥檛 know how much a meal is going to be or how much extra will be charged because they sat down.鈥

She said regulating the service charges 鈥渟hould take place鈥 to create the most transparency between the business and the consumer.聽

鈥淔rom our perspective, we think it鈥檚 fair that service charges are as upfront and make as much sense to most people as possible,鈥 she said.

A restaurant
Mez猫 Restaurant in Adams Morgan does not currently have service charges, but the owner is considering it.

Jackson also said undisclosed or unexplained fees could lead to wait staff receiving less tips.聽

While Jackson agrees the Federal Trade Commission should regulate service fees, Mez猫 Restaurant manager Ali Sen hopes the federal government stays out of his business.

Sen, who helps run the Mediterranean restaurant in Adams Morgan, said the owner has not implemented a service charge but the idea is floating around.聽

鈥淓verything鈥檚 going up, like the rent and this and that, so I understand the owner,鈥 Sen said. 鈥淚t鈥檚 not a good idea.鈥

Sen said the government does not need to add more control over businesses as restaurants in Adams Morgan try to work with what they make.聽

Some Adams Morgan restaurants advise patrons of the extra charge on the menu, while other businesses just add the fee to the bill.聽

The commission on the proposed rule until Jan. 8. So far the commission received more than 12,000 comments, with a majority supporting “government action or described negative experiences relating to fees that suggested support for such action,” according to the docket.

The commission will consider revising the rule based on the comments, and then implement it.

Dima Amro

Dima Amro

Dima Amro is a reporter for 最新蜜桃影像 covering the Adams Morgan neighborhood. She is an investigative journalism graduate student at American University. Prior to that, she worked at The Commercial Appeal in Memphis, Tennessee.

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