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Woman Complains That She And Her Boyfriend Were Given A 10% Surcharge On Their Bill For The 'Live Music' Playing In The Restaurant

Photo: TikTok / Monkey Business Images / Shutterstock
Lisa Sun, waiter serving customers at restaurant

After dining out at a restaurant with her boyfriend, a woman was taken aback after noticing a charge printed on their restaurant bill.

In a TikTok video, Australian influencer Lisa Sun detailed the unusual expense she had received while eating out at a restaurant in Syndey. The entire incident even riled up Sun's viewers, who pointed out that surcharges on bills should be explained before patrons even sit down to eat.

Sun explained that she and her boyfriend got a 10% surcharge on their bill for 'live music' that was playing in the restaurant.

In Sun's video, she had filmed a day-in-my-life vlog for her followers, where she and her partner, Dave, had decided to go out to eat for dinner. “Dave and I went to this restaurant a couple of weeks ago … and they charged us a 10 percent surcharge."



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Sun explained that the surcharge given to her at the restaurant was only for "big group" expenses, which confused her since it was only her and her boyfriend dining. When she went to pay, she inquired with the restaurant staff if the surcharge was because there were two people in their party.

"Would you not have charged us this surcharge if I came alone?’” Sun recalled asking one of the employees. "Like how much smaller can this group realistically get, there’s two of us?”

However, the staff told Sun that the 10% surcharge was for the live music that had been playing in the restaurant while customers ate, which left Sun even more confused than before. "I don't know how I feel about that," she admitted.

"How do you guys feel about being charged a surcharge for live music that you didn’t ask for and that you weren’t aware of prior to going to dinner?” she questioned.

While Sun did end up paying the bill in its entirety, she still acknowledged feeling slightly doubtful about the 10% payment, whether it was a legitimate expense, and if the surcharge was being used to fund the live music being played in the establishment.

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Restaurants have started attending surcharges to customers' bills as a way to afford to stay open.

Despite Sun's experience happening in Australia, similar restaurant surcharges are appearing on bills for people in the United States. According to the National Restaurant Association, in their August 2022 Restaurant Business Conditions Survey, of 4,200 restaurateurs surveyed, 16% have added surcharges.

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In an interview with Today, Vanessa Sink, director of media relations for the National Restaurant Association, explained, "The typical small business restaurant runs on a 3 to 5% pre-tax margin."

"For the vast majority of restaurant operators — 88% — total food costs are higher now than they were in 2019, and labor costs are up for 86% of operators.”

In the comments section, people expressed their frustrations with restaurants having hidden fees.

"They should have told you before you ordered, technically it’s not incorporated into the contract if you didn’t know or had no way of knowing," one TikTok user wrote.

Another user added, "No way I would have paid - especially since it wasn’t disclosed earlier - never heard anywhere else trying to charge for that."

"Nope I'm a live musician and if the venue wants music they pay for it not you. How dare they make that a surcharge," a third user pointed out.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics.