A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 05, 2022
Kitchen Appreciation Charge (Kitchen Appreciation Fee; Kitchen Administration Fee)

A “Kitchen Appreciation Fee” (also called “Kitchen Appreciation Charge” or “Kitchen Administration Fee”) of about 2%-5% is what some restaurants add to the bill. The money goes to the kitchen staff. Some diners have pointed out that this fee is taxable, and that higher menu prices are preferable to this hidden fee.
   
”@bestiaDTLA Your kitchen appreciation service charge is wrong on so many levels. This is disrespectful to staff and customers” was posted on Twitter by Thomas Mikusz on November 4, 2014. “Never seen this in DC, but this LA restaurant charges a 3% ‘kitchen appreciation charge’” was posted on Twitter by Jessica Sidman on November 24, 2015. “Yvonne’s has quietly slipped the a 3 percent back-of-house fee onto bills since it opened downtown this fall in the form of a ‘Kitchen Appreciation Charge’” was printed in Boston (MA) magazine on November 30, 2015.
   
“Sweet Cheeks adds a Kitchen Appreciation Fee that allows BOH employees to benefit from top line success like FOH employees” was posted on Twitter by BostonTweet on March 29, 2017. “Different restaurants have different names for the fees — living wage fee, administrative hospitality fee, kitchen appreciation fee — and each model is a bit different” was posted on WBUR (Boston, MA) on April 10, 2017. “Fees are popping up on restaurant bills lately under terms such as ‘noncash adjustment,’ ‘fuel surcharge,’ or ‘kitchen appreciation,’ a way to battle rising food and labor costs without raising menu prices, at least for the meantime” was printed in Barron’s on June 3, 2022.
 
“Part of being progressive is a 3 percent ‘kitchen administration fee’ that’s tacked onto every bill. A handout to diners explains that with climbing menu prices and bigger tips, waiters and other front-of-house employees now generally earn 2.5 times what kitchen staff do” was printed in the Boston (MA) Globe on July 28, 2017. “Ledger, which opened this summer in the former Salem Savings Bank building at 125 Washington St., has added a 3 percent kitchen administration fee to the menu to boost the pay of its hourly kitchen employees” was printed in The Salem News (Salem, MA) on August 13, 2017. ” if you thought tipping minimums was bad, this restaurant added a ‘kitchen administration’ fee of 2% to our bill…” was posted on Twitter by Bort on September 26, 2017.
 
       
Twitter     
Thomas Mikusz
@mikusz
@bestiaDTLA Your kitchen appreciation service charge is wrong on so many levels. This is disrespectful to staff and customers.
12:10 AM · Nov 4, 2014·Twitter Web Client
   
Twitter
Jessica Sidman
@jsidman
Never seen this in DC, but this LA restaurant charges a 3% “kitchen appreciation charge.” Thoughts?
11:45 AM · Nov 24, 2015·Twitter for iPhone
         
Boston (MA) magazine 
Tres Gatos and Centre Street Café Team Announce Hospitality Surcharge
These Jamaica Plain spots are the latest to take steps toward changing how restaurant employees are compensated.

by JACQUELINE CAIN· 11/30/2015, 2:59 p.m.
(...)
Indeed, Tres Gatos and Centre Street Café aren’t the only restaurants taking steps to level the playing field between tipped and hourly employees. In Back Bay, Select Oyster Bar chef/owner Michael Serpa tacks on automatic gratuity, and Yvonne’s has quietly slipped the a 3 percent back-of-house fee onto bills since it opened downtown this fall in the form of a “Kitchen Appreciation Charge.”
 
9 December 2015, Boston (MA) Globe, “2015 Boston-Area Restaurant Awards” by Devra First, pg. G3, cols. 1-2:
Most promising trend: Rethinking tipping
In October, influential New York-based restaurateur Danny Meyer announced he would eliminate tipping in all 13 restaurants of his Union Square Hospitality Group. Many in the restaurant industry nationwide are exploring similar measures. Locally, Select Oyster Bar opened with a 20 percent gratuity included. Yvonne’s implemented a 3 percent “kitchen appreciation charge” to address disparity in earnings between the front and back of the house.
   
Los Angeles (CA) Times 
Traditional tipping isn’t the only way — here are 3 alternatives that are on the table
BY TIEN NGUYEN
JAN. 22, 2016 11:35 AM PT
(...)
And then there are restaurants that combine mandatory service charges with tips. At Bestia, for instance, a 3% “Kitchen Appreciation Charge” is added to the bill.
 
Twitter
William McAdoo
@TheBostonFoodie
Great review of Ruka by Mat Shaffer in @BostonGlobe today incl a mention of the “kitchen appreciation charge” consumers need to know
10:53 AM · Mar 1, 2017·Twitter Web Client
 
Twitter
BostonTweet
@BostonTweet
👍 Sweet Cheeks adds a Kitchen Appreciation Fee that allows BOH employees to benefit from top line success like FOH employees. (h/t @Erin_O)
SweetCheeks
9:07 PM · Mar 29, 2017·Twitter for iPhone
 
WBUR (Boston, MA)
Restaurateurs Try To Close Employee Wage Gap By ‘Revenue Sharing’
Updated April 10, 2017
Simón Rios
(...)
Harmon is spreading its gospel among his colleagues in the industry. Different restaurants have different names for the fees — living wage fee, administrative hospitality fee, kitchen appreciation fee — and each model is a bit different.
   
28 July 2017, Boston (MA) Globe, “You can bank on a good meal at Ledger in Salem” by Coco McCabe and Doug Stewart, pg. Z4:
WHO’S IN CHARGE Ledger Restaurant & Bar is the latest foray of Matt O’Neil, who made a name for himself on the North Shore as chef-owner of the Blue Ox in Lynn. Ledger, O’Neil’s second venture, opened last month in the refurbished Salem Savings Bank building in the heart of Salem. It’s an historic location housing “a progressive New England concept,” states Ledger’s website.
 
Part of being progressive is a 3 percent “kitchen administration fee” that’s tacked onto every bill. A handout to diners explains that with climbing menu prices and bigger tips, waiters and other front-of-house employees now generally earn 2.5 times what kitchen staff do. Ledger says its surcharge goes entirely to the latter. It’s a trend that may catch on.
       
The Salem News (Salem, MA)
New kitchen fee could spur the next top Salem chef
By Ethan Forman Staff writer Aug 13, 2017
SALEM — A trendy new downtown restaurant may be on the cutting edge when it comes to how kitchen staff get paid in the future.
 
Ledger, which opened this summer in the former Salem Savings Bank building at 125 Washington St., has added a 3 percent kitchen administration fee to the menu to boost the pay of its hourly kitchen employees.
 
Twitter
Bort
@Named_Bort
@cgpgrey if you thought tipping minimums was bad, this restaurant added a “kitchen administration” fee of 2% to our bill…
10:23 PM · Sep 26, 2017 from Boston, MA·Twitter for Android
 
Mouse Print
Some Diners Don’t Appreciate “Kitchen Appreciation”
December 18, 2017 by Edgar (aka MrConsumer)
Friends of MrConsumer have been trained to check the fine print of their transactions. A bit of scrutiny of a recent restaurant bill revealed a surprising add-on to the check:
(...)
Put simply, the customer is being told that they must subsidize the comparatively low wages of the kitchen staff by being surcharged 3-percent on the total bill. (MrConsumer might point out that the restaurant then appears to charge meals tax on top of this kitchen tip which is probably not authorized under state law.)
       
Twitter
Lo Malo
@DotMalo
Anyone know what a Kitchen Appreciation fee is? #Boston #restaurant
3:45 PM · Mar 11, 2018·Twitter for iPhone
   
Eileen Murphy@chipsy231·Mar 11, 2018
Replying to @DotMalo
It’s a “back-of-the-house” pooled tip for employees such as dishwashers, cooks, perhaps food runners.
 
Twitter
Mitzula
@Mitzula
Because Resort Fees, Parking, and CNF fees aren’t enough, there’s now a 4% Kitchen Appreciation fee???
Seriously who thought this was a good idea?
Quote Tweet
John Curtas
@eatinglasvegas
· Mar 25, 2018
Padding the bill or long overdue? What do we think about an (optional/removable) Kitchen Appreciation Charge”? #PizzeriaMonzu
12:39 PM · Mar 25, 2018·Twitter Web Client
   
Twitter
Daren Swisher
@DarenCSwisher
“kitchen appreciation fee” on drinks the too?
11:40 PM · Jan 14, 2019·Twitter for iPhone
   
Tw2itter
True Bistro
@TrueBistro
Introducing the Kitchen Appreciation Program. Starting April 2 we will help close the wage gap by including the Kitchen in gratuities. Look for the automatic 4% gratuity KAP fee on your next bill. Ask a server for more info. #kitchen #closethegap via http://ripl.com
9:54 AM · Apr 1, 2019·Ripl App
   
Twitter   
John Hostage
@jbhostage
What the hell is this? “Kitchen administration fee”?
9:59 AM · Feb 26, 2022·Twitter for iPhone
 
Twitter
TJ Girsch
@tjgirschrpa
Replying to @jbhostage
I’ve seen it as a “Kitchen Appreciation Fee,” too. Restaurants are having a very hard time keeping staff, so this is like a non-optional tip that goes directly to the kitchen staff.
10:05 AM · Feb 26, 2022 from Quincy, MA·Twitter for Android
       
Twitter
DeFiDummy, MBA
@de_dummy
Replying to @TheEricNorris
+ State Tax
+ County Tax
+ Service Charge
+ Resort Tax
+ Kitchen appreciation fee
7:42 PM · Apr 8, 2022·Twitter Web App
 
Twitter
BotswanaPresident
@BangoTournas
What is kitchen administration fee #inflation
9:00 PM · May 11, 2022·Twitter for iPhone
 
Barron’s
Restaurants Add Fees to the Fine Print as Costs Rise
By Liz Moyer
June 3, 2022 9:05 am ET
(...)
Fees are popping up on restaurant bills lately under terms such as “noncash adjustment,” “fuel surcharge,” or “kitchen appreciation,” a way to battle rising food and labor costs without raising menu prices, at least for the meantime.
(...)
Boston seafood restaurant Saltie Girl added a “kitchen appreciation fee” during the pandemic, at first to encourage workers to return. It is now used to keep pay parity among the staff as costs rise. The fee adds $5 an hour, per employee, owner Kathy Sidell told the Journal, without raising menu prices.
       
Twitter
SBG
@stkbullgod
Replying to @zerohedge
How can the kitchen appreciation fee be taxable?
3:16 PM · Jun 4, 2022·Twitter for iPhone
 
Twitter
Ryan McBay
@ryanmcbay
Wellness fee
Temporary inflation fee
Kitchen appreciation fee
Noncash adjustment
Supply chain charge
If I ever get anything like this on my bill from a restaurant, not paying it. Plain & Simple
I order food, tax on certain items, and a respectable tip for good service.
Thats it
3:20 PM · Jun 4, 2022·Twitter for Android
 
Twitter
Activist Post
@ActivistPost
From “temporary inflation fee” to “kitchen appreciation fee” to “supply chain charge” and a “wellness fee,” consumers are paying extra in a variety of ways.
https://activistpost.com/2022/06/restaurants-adding-inflation-fees-amid-razor-thin-margins.html
8:23 PM · Jun 4, 2022·Blog2Social APP

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityRestaurants/Bars/Coffeehouses/Food Stores • Sunday, June 05, 2022 • Permalink


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