Obamacare Costs Prompt Menu Surcharges, Price Hikes and No Tipping Policy at 3 OC Restaurants

The owners of two high-profile Orange County restaurants are taking a stand on rising labor costs by implementing controversial changes that could lead to sticker shock on your next dining bill.

In Newport Beach, A Restaurant is tacking on a 2 percent surcharge to cover soon-to-be-required employee health benefits totaling an estimated $72,000 a year. The surcharge is effective Tuesday. Six miles away at hipster enclave South Coast Collection in Costa Mesa, Chef Noah Blom is taking a different approach: he’s scrapping tips and bumping menu prices by as much as 25 percent at two new restaurants.

“’Hospitality included’ is how we like to call it,” Blom said. “There are some people that won’t understand, and the menu prices will shock them.”

The three restaurants appear to be the first in Orange County to openly link price increases to government-mandated healthcare premiums and wage hikes.

View Article