Brussels restaurant adds Covid-19 surcharge

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Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 49 total)

  • Poshgirl58
    Participant

    Totally agree this is sneaky but it may become the norm.

    Yesterday, my internet front page carried the story that bars and restaurants in Spain are introducing Covid surcharges. Unfortunately, by the time I had the opportunity to read this in detail, it had disappeared so unable to report which media outlet was responsible. If it resurfaces, will provide an update.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    DerekVH
    Participant

    Should this work the other way around? Our telephone call charges have increased by 150% due to COVID-19 and I am sure many others will face similar costs as a result of people working from home – should I be asking my supplier for a discount?


    SimonS1
    Participant

    Should this work the other way around? Our telephone call charges have increased by 150% due to COVID-19 and I am sure many others will face similar costs as a result of people working from home – should I be asking my supplier for a discount?

    Why not? On a whim my partner decided to call Sky yesterday, and they offered a new box, free installation, plus reduction of £25 on monthly payment.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    And car insurance companies are returning some of their premiums as we have all driven a lot less in the last few months.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    On a whim my partner decided to call Sky yesterday, and they offered a new box, free installation, plus reduction of £25 on monthly payment.

    You will find Sky discounting on request for any ‘long term’ client, as will the mobile phone companies. All part of their standard marketing strategies, give discounts (or product enhancements) to those that ask… irrespective of the current situation.


    Poshgirl58
    Participant

    An update.

    The “red tops” reporting Covid surcharges in Spain range from 1 Euro per table to 1 Euro added to cost of drink. Apparently it’s happening in America too. Some have added to bill as a surcharge, whilst others are reprinting menus with higher prices.

    Spanish Ministry for Consumer Affairs says it’s illegal although what action, if any, they propose to take has not been reported. A consumer rights group stated it was unfair, as bars and restaurants didn’t charge extra for wiping down tables and other cleaning before the Covid outbreak.

    In Belgium, they want to introduce “Helpy Hour” instead of Happy Hour, where customers are asked to pay double for drinks, thus assisting the owners with their added costs. Happy Hour will return when restrictions are lifted.


    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    A consumer rights group stated it was unfair, as bars and restaurants didn’t charge extra for wiping down tables and other cleaning before the Covid outbreak.

    I do find this and similar comments strange. With the proviso that all charges should be well advertised up front, and not snuck in after the customer has committed, a business establishment has the absolute right to charge what it thinks it needs to to offer the service and survive, and a customer has the absolute right to walk away if they decide that they don’t want to pay. The restaurant business is quite competitive, and the commercial world will soon sort out those businesses which are overcharging, or trying to take advantage.

    So many of these comments appear to come from people who have actually, if truth be told, not experienced much hardship from the lockdown. If you and your family are and have stayed healthy, if you can work satisfactorily from home, if your job and finances are secure (full disclosure – that is my position, all three) then the lockdown has been mildly inconveniencing and frustrating rather than anything worse. But to emerge from the lockdown and then complain that life is not exactly as it was 6 months ago shows a complete inability to understand that for many people – restaurateurs among them – life has been both very difficult and very worrying, and even now they are allowed to re-open, their problems have not all magically vanished.

    6 users thanked author for this post.

    ontherunhome
    Participant

    My business had its last work in Jan, we build exhibition stands. We had loads of work in March, and had 8 stands built ready to go. All cancelled. Most clients covered costs and work to date, but that did not really cover any profit. My next work is likely to be Jan 2021. I wont be able to charge a surcharge, as it is a competitive industry.In fact i expect customers will try to get lower pricing. I in turn will have to reduce labour rates,paid to sub contractors, and seek out better costs all around. I will also boycott those that are taking the mickey, and a certain German airline too.
    I do feel for all these businesses, but they must adapt and survive, not just put up prices.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    So many of these comments appear to come from people who have actually, if truth be told, not experienced much hardship from the lockdown. If you and your family are and have stayed healthy, if you can work satisfactorily from home, if your job and finances are secure (full disclosure – that is my position, all three) then the lockdown has been mildly inconveniencing and frustrating rather than anything worse.

    Yes, true. I was working on a trip to Kenya this morning and discussed exactly this with a colleague. We could probably force the apartments where we stay into a 20% discount on basis that places are generally empty. On the other hand we talked exactly about what you are saying – is it really necessary to save a few quid when businesses are struggling and people losing jobs?

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    fatbear
    Participant

    Am I the only one wondering about all the extra cleaning that bars/restaurants are now expected to be performing ? Shouldn’t this have been happening pre-Covid anyway instead of establishments previously being content with dirty surroundings and usually only cleaning your table when specifically asked……


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Am I the only one wondering about all the extra cleaning that bars/restaurants are now expected to be performing ? Shouldn’t this have been happening pre-Covid anyway instead of establishments previously being content with dirty surroundings and usually only cleaning your table when specifically asked……

    Fatbear – whilst I agree with your contention about cleaning, I believe this is only a small element of the increased costs post-Covid anyway. As others have explained, it’s the reduced throughput that many businesses will have to experience, even though they may have a catch-up on loans they may have taken out to cover their reduction in income until now, that will be the deciding factor.

    If your income in any new arrangements is reduced and your costs are not (or even increased marginally) then all you have left is to increase your prices. It’s a fine-line business decision about how or how much.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    If your income in any new arrangements is reduced and your costs are not (or even increased marginally) then all you have left is to increase your prices. It’s a fine-line business decision about how or how much.

    Not really. There are other factors in play such as how much your profit margin was before, whether you can operate with a lower margin now, whether you may be able to sustain a couple of years losses, whether you have money in the bank (bearing in mind profits and positive cash flow are different things) etc.

    It’s quite possible businesses will be able to sustain themselves without putting prices up.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    ” ………….. It’s quite possible businesses will be able to sustain themselves without putting prices up”.

    Simon – this is self evident. But, likewise, many businesses have gone under already because they have had costs and no income. This discussion is about businesses that have put up their prices.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    ” ………….. It’s quite possible businesses will be able to sustain themselves without putting prices up”.

    Simon – this is self evident. But, likewise, many businesses have gone under already because they have had costs and no income. This discussion is about businesses that have put up their prices.

    Actually if you read it the discussion was whether adding a “Covid-19 surcharge” without telling custpmers in advance was appropriate.

    Many businesses have lost income, increased costs and are still around without adding sneaky surcharges. Perhaps its how you do things that consumers reflect on.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    It’s quite possible businesses will be able to sustain themselves without putting prices up.

    The businesses that will find this easier than most will be those with recurring monthly / annual incomes through service agreements/contracts. Companies relying on income through new business or new sales will find it harder than others.

    The hospitality sector is the big unknown. Businesses having to operate below full capacity, but the demand for certain style of restaurants / bars may increase. Nothing like a good queue to show popularity. Perhaps establishments will introduce fees (similar to a club) to enable faster or immediate bookings

    I have no issue with increased pricing to cover the ‘new experience’ – I have a big issue being presented a net to gross bill, without being advised before entering the establishment.

    4 users thanked author for this post.
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