The Restaurant Wellness Surcharge

Mark Spearman
4 min readJan 17, 2024
Health benefits added to your restuarant bill? What will be added next?

There’s a new charge on restaurant receipts. First they started adding what they think you should tip, now their adding information about what an employee costs the business. Take note of what they employee earned the business when you see this wellness surcharge.

I’m not against a business informing us about the internal costs of what they do. Sometimes it’s beneficial. For example, when your government halts the drilling of domestic oil, it’s important to note how that effects the environment, transportation costs, etc. It’s useful information. I am just wondering how detailed this should go.

The Problem Is An Unfair Wage System

The reason the restaurant is putting this information on your receipt is to counter the pre-calculated tip. They need you to bring your server’s wage up to a higher standard, so they’re trying to show that they’re doing their part too by adding health care benefit costs to the final bill. In reality, they’re just starting to peal the lid back on the nation’s unfair wage system as a whole.

Do you know who they aren’t including on that receipt? Not that there’s room on the receipt to point out all of the unfairness, but the chain is full of workers who are not getting a fair wage in order to bring you that plate of delicious steak.

  • Truck drivers are not subject to a minimum wage. They are paid by the mile and that often is less than the hourly minimum wage.
  • Farmers are exempt from numerous labor laws. The minimum wage is less, the minimum age of workers is far less, overtime requirements are not the same, and safety regulations are different. Truckers in the farming industry are treated even worse than other drivers.
  • The manager may work many hours without overtime due to his salary position.

Am I missing any? Maybe the amount contributed by these workers should be communicated more often?

Health Benefits For All Are A Good Thing!

Healthcare for all working people is important. Food industry workers need to be healthy to do their duties properly and to not carry health problems to others. Health and safety are often said together for a reason.



Mark Spearman

I hail from Central Ohio. I have a diverse background and enjoy writing to the fullest. See more at