More Businesses Turning to Surcharges to Deal With Rising Costs

According to commerce platform Lightspeed, the number of their merchants nationwide charging service fees has jumped 36.4% over the year

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For Aiden Register, paying more for just about everything these days is starting to take its toll.

“It’s starting to get uncomfortably high,” they said.

Register has noticed some businesses are starting to pass along some of those increases to customers by charging extra fees.

“I would rather they don’t but I guess it’s not really their fault,” they said. “They’re just trying to get acclimated with what’s happening.”

According to Lightspeed, a commerce platform for 6,000 hospitality, retail and golf businesses, the number of their merchants nationwide charging service fees has jumped 36.4% over the year and the amount of those fees is also on the rise. The company told NBC 6 they’re seeing most of these fees at upscale and fine dining restaurants.

“Americans don’t like this type of nickel and dime surcharges,” said Ted Rossman, senior industry analyst for

Rossman said inflation-related fees are likely here to stay for now.

“I think it’s hard to roll them back,” he said. “I think this is part of what gets so sticky about inflation and it’s why we’re not going to see a true reversal.”

Still, in March, the popular grocery delivery service Instacart added a temporary fuel surcharge of 40 cents to help shoppers fulfilling customer orders deal with rising fuel costs. The program ended June 15 after several extensions. Uber Eats also ended its temporary fuel surcharge on June 15.

But Uber and Lyft extended their 55 cent fuel surcharge indefinitely, citing rising gas prices. The fee, they say, goes entirely to drivers to help them with the pain at the pump.

And one national restaurant chain recently started charging a $2 inflation fee, noted on their menu. In a statement posted on its website, the company cites “global supply chain shortages” and “ever-growing pressure from inflation,” adding: “Like many others in the industry, it would have been easy to simply raise our menu prices, but we believe these burdens will eventually pass and as such, we elected to employ a temporary solution...”

Lightspeed started to see surcharges pop up on transactions in the pandemic, the company said. The fees can show up as anything from a service fee to a healthcare fee to a fuel surcharge.

“I don’t think that sits well with most customers,” Rossman said. “They’re like, 'well, what’s next? Are you going to charge me for the air conditioning?' I think it’s better to just present one price.”

So if you see one of these fees on your next bill, Rossman suggests politely asking the server or manager to remove it. But there's a good chance you will still probably have to pay it.

If you’ve noticed an inflation-related fee on a receipt, please share it with NBC 6 Responds by uploading an image and some details here.

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