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Macaroni Grill is Setting a New Trend in Adding “Inflation Fees” to Checks

A sandwich shop in Ohio tacked on an “inflation fee” at some locations in February, but after three days and complaints from customers, the fee is gone.

This is different in Hawaii. Located within walking distance to most Waikiki hotels, Ala Moana Shopping Center is a magnet for both locals and visitors alike.

A favorite among the many restaurants at the largest shopping center in the Pacific is Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

Macaroni Grill is also one of the few establishments on the island of Oahu providing a discount to Kamaainas (local residents).

Just bringing the effects of business lost through COVID behind, a 7.87% inflation rate in the United States is the next best threat besides the ongoing war in Ukraine. It appears the hospitality and restaurant industry cannot win.

Difficult times lead to inventive ways to generate the additional revenue needed to maneuver through the never-ending crisis.

$2.00 temporary inflation fee added to restaurant ticket

The Macaroni Grill in Honolulu is now charging a $2.00 inflation fee on all checks exceeding $10.00. This is disclosed, but most likely overlooked on this restaurant’s paper menus.

Waiters are not disclosing this fee to customers in advance, but anyone examing the check at the end of their lunch or dinner will find the $2.00 temporary inflation fee.

When speaking to a manager, eTurboNews publisher Juergen Steinmetz was told a good number of patrons question the fee, and it may be counterproductive, agreeing with eTurboNews it would be more transparent, less sneaky, and would avoid the feeling of being strong armed for $2 to raise prices instead.

$2 inflation fee announced on the restaurant menu

“It really doesn’t make a big difference to pay $23 for a Spaghetti Meatball dish instead of the $21 charged, but disclosing it more prominently may stop confusion and a sour after taste,” said Juergen Steinmetz, who dined at Macaroni Grill in Honolulu yesterday.

The temporary inflation fee may very well become a new trend in the restaurant business, with Macaroni Grill as one of the pioneers.

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About the author

Juergen T Steinmetz

Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1977).
He founded eTurboNews in 1999 as the first online newsletter for the global travel tourism industry.

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