Restaurant owner adds insurance surcharge to bills

The Minnesota restauranteur is now adding a 3% surcharge to customer checks in order to help pay the rising costs of her employees’ health coverage

Restaurant owner adds insurance surcharge to bills


By Ryan Smith

A Minnesota restaurant owner has added a surcharge to customers’ bills to help pay for her employees’ health insurance.

Kim Bartmann, who owns six restaurants in the Twin Cities area, is adding a 3% service charge to customers’ checks to help mitigate the rising cost of coverage.

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“We’ve all seen the articles about how tough it is to work in restaurants,” Bartmann told local NBC affiliate KARE 11. “Having health insurance is critical, even for young people who think that they’re invincible.”

Bartmann has offered her employees health insurance and dental coverage since 1993, according to KARE 11. Staff members paid 50% of the cost, while she paid the other half. But with coverage costs climbing, Bartmann said she had to do something.

“We can’t continue to sustain those increases,” she told KARE 11. “Rather than just raising prices, we want to be transparent about our costs. We think customers will appreciate knowing that our workers have good-quality, affordable health insurance.”

Bartmann told the station that she expects surcharges like hers to become commonplace.

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