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SF: "Healthy Food Initiative" surcharge?

ginael Jan 3, 2009 09:13 PM

My husband and I will be visiting SF from San Diego and have made reservations at Boulevard. Upon glancing at their menu online, I noticed a disclaimer, "In response to the San Francisco Healthy Initiative, a 4% surcharge will be added. . ." Can someone please explain what the heck this initiative entails? I know this city is quite progressive, but I'd like to have some background knowledge before paying. Do only certain restaurants adhere to this? Cheers.

  1. manraysky Jan 3, 2009 09:36 PM

    It is to offset the cost of health insurance for employees.

    " Beginning in 2008, employers with at least 20 employees must make required "Health Care Expenditures" to or on behalf of their local employees. [2] Employers who are not contributing to insurance, health savings accounts, or medical expenses must pay a fee of $1.17 per hour per employee, equivalent to about $200/month for a full-time worker. Employers with at least 100 workers must pay $1.76/hour per worker, equivalent to about $300/month. [3] If an employer selects HSF, their employees would then be given information about how to enroll, and would receive a discount on the participation fee. [4] "
    taken from http://www.commonwealthfund.org/innov...

    1 Reply
    1. re: manraysky
      ginael Jan 4, 2009 12:44 PM

      Thank you for the explanation. At least it is going to a good cause.

    2. Das Ubergeek Jan 5, 2009 09:25 AM

      God forbid they should just raise the menu prices 4%, which would have the additional effect of raising the amount that tipped employees receive in tips. I'm reminded of the airlines with the let's-surcharge-everything-not-bolted-down, where your $199 fare balloons into $250 or $300 with taxes, surcharges and fees, and cell phones, where your $39.99 a month plan costs $53.12 by the time you're done with same.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Das Ubergeek
        ginael Jan 6, 2009 07:00 PM

        It's virtually impossible for restaurants, or any industry for that matter, to induct a surcharge policy that pleases the masses.

        Here in San Diego a restaurant (The Linkery) adds a 15% surcharge to the total bill in lieu of the customer devising his/her own tip. I won't get into the owner's reasons, but it has incited controversy; some think it's a great idea, others are offended.

        Places like Boulevard generally get away with changes such as these because they produce consistent high-quality cuisine and critical fanfare.

        You don't like it...don't go.

        1. re: ginael
          Das Ubergeek Jan 7, 2009 08:34 AM

          I'm all for "what you see is what you pay" pricing. It's worked in Europe for decades.

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