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How the new crackdown on junk fees could impact your restaurant surcharges


Last fall, President Biden announced a proposed crackdown on “junk fees” or misleading consumer-facing surcharges that are usually included in the fine print before a purchase is made. The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed trade regulation rule would require businesses to include all required fees in the original listed price. While media attention on this proposed crackdown had initially focused on companies and industries like Ticketmaster, airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies, the FTC rule would also include restaurant service charges in its new rule.

Most recently President Biden mentioned getting rid of junk fees again during the annual presidential State of the Union address last week.

On March 5, the White House announced the launch of a new strike force to fight “unfair and illegal pricing,” cochaired by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, with the goal of saving American consumers nearly $20 billion in junk fees and to promote more competitive pricing in the corporate community.

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