Image 01 Image 03

San Francisco Restaurants Adding “Climate Change” Surcharge to Bill

San Francisco Restaurants Adding “Climate Change” Surcharge to Bill

Note that over 400 of the city’s restaurants closed in 2019.

Despite its reputation as a tourist draw, San Francisco saw more than 400 restaurants closed during 2019.

In 2019, many business owners found it too challenging to run their restaurants in a high-priced city. According to data gathered by Yelp, San Francisco had 411 restaurant closures between Jan. 1 and Oct. 31. In that time, some of the notable closures included Plouf, Rosamunde Sausage Grill, Dosa, and Famerbrown, which had 14 to 23 years in service. The elegant Jardinière, which opened in 1997 by chef-owner Traci Des Jardins, also bid farewell after 21 years.

…A special hearing at City Hall brought together 41 restaurateurs who shared their complaints to San Francisco supervisors over various issues that have plagued the restaurant industry. The labor shortage, maintenance costs and high rent were among the topics raised.

“Those types of fees have continued to put a lot of strain and pressure on industries where we just don’t have any margin,” Laurie Thomas, owner of restaurants Terzo, Rose’s Café, and a member of the board of directors at the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, told SFGATE. “We’re not like software, restaurants are different. We’re lucky if we keep 3 to 5 percent at the end of the day.”

Well, it turns out that there may soon be another reason for diners to reconsider their eating options. Some restaurants are adding a “climate change” surcharge to the bill.

Diners at some of San Francisco most popular restaurants might notice a new line item on their bills this month, a one percent add-on that’s known as the Restore California surcharge — a fee that’s intended to assist in efforts against climate change.

In a city where additional charges are as common as “unexpected” Muni delays, one might be tempted to roll one’s eyes at the sight of yet another additional cost to dine out. But this one has the support of San Francisco’s leading restaurant trade group, making it a veritable unicorn in the world of restaurant emoluments.

However, the charges will be “optional.”

…If you choose to opt in, it purports to make your meal more climate-friendly: The charge will fund a new program called Restore California, which is managed by the nonprofit Zero Footprint.

Restore California provides funding for farmers to build healthy soil, and more specifically funds “carbon farming projects such as compost application, cover crop planting, tree planting and improved grazing management,” according to a press release. Zero Footprint estimates that if a mere 1 percent of restaurants in California add the 1 percent surcharge, in a $97 billion restaurant industry, the program would generate nearly $10 million in the program’s first year.

But I can well imagine the glares, self-righteous scoldings, or taunts one might get if a diner “opts out.”

Sure you can opt out . . . but Big Sister is watching.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


“In a city where additional charges are as common as “unexpected” Muni delays, one might be tempted to roll one’s eyes at the sight of yet another additional cost to dine out. But this one has the support of San Francisco’s leading restaurant trade group,… ”

Since the surcharge is optional, it’s almost as if the restaurant trade group is trolling the city by backing it.

I’d rather help pay the SF rent of the staff!

    healthguyfsu in reply to Rab. | January 26, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    They definitely aren’t trolling if they are trying to survive. A little more on the bill could mean fewer patrons, and they know that quite well.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some restaurateurs try to cheat the system by collecting the money in the name of “climate change fees” then pocketing it to help with the narrow margins.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to healthguyfsu. | January 27, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      I can’t stop wondering if that comes before or after the free, complimentary feces on the plate……..

It’s a good thing you opt in or out after you ate the meal. Most waiters and waitresses probably feel it cuts into their tips.

    Lucifer Morningstar in reply to Jackie. | January 26, 2020 at 7:47 pm

    Don’t kid yourself. These hoity toity highfalutin restaurants automatically add the “tip” to the bottom line on your bill (as a service to the diner wink, wink) and you don’t have an option to “opt out”. You pay your bill with the included tip, taxes and other nonsense. No exceptions.

      drednicolson in reply to Lucifer Morningstar. | January 27, 2020 at 1:27 am

      I’ll certainly “opt-out” of patronizing any restaurant that does so. Tips are earned, not a given.

      In a fair world, lousy service would warrant a negative tip, ie. a discount on your bill.

In an effort to control costs, SF restaurants have closed their restrooms and are telling customers to use the sidewalks like the other locals do.

Zero Footprint estimates that if a mere 1 percent of restaurants in California add the 1 percent surcharge, in a $97 billion restaurant industry, the program would generate nearly $10 million in the program’s first year.

Nearly $10 million. Well, fancy that. Unfortunately I see nothing about “climate” involved in their metric of “success.” This is much like claiming that the general health of the city’s population has improved because the hospitals have become more expensive.

Lemme guess: They’re going to use the money to buy bus tickets so more bums can come to town?

Some day, the SJWs will learn that while not as absolute as gravity, economic laws cannot be violated without repercussions. Too bad, the people who pay the most are ones who can least afford it.

Lol losers

$10 million!?! Climate Change won’t be able to withstand such devastating financial assaults.

The life expectancy of a restaurant is very short, 3-5 years for the average restaurant. Stephen Pyles, one of the top chefs in Dallas has opened and closed 7-8 restaurants in the last 30 years.

Please don’t do what climate scientists do – attributing unrelated events to climate change where no attribution exists

    drednicolson in reply to Joe-dallas. | January 27, 2020 at 1:45 am

    Food service is one of the most volatile industries. Everything from fuel costs to the success-or-lack-thereof of farmers/ranchers/fisherman affects the cost of base ingredients. Employee turnover is high. A health code violation can close you down for days/weeks/good. And business can run out through no fault of your own, as customer demographics and surroundings change.

    Tom Servo in reply to Joe-dallas. | January 27, 2020 at 9:03 am

    You are correct, the restaurant business is very hard. Since you mentioned him, I have always greatly enjoyed Stephen Pyles restaurants and I note that he has a very interesting take on the restaurant life cycle – he doesn’t want to go through the decline period of a restaurant getting old, so he pre-emptively closes every restaurant he starts when it’s still going great and has a lot of regulars, and then goes off and starts a new one. Starting new restaurants is how he generates the “buzz” to keep people looking for them.

In other words, thus is the non-San Francisco business plan, that encourages restaurants to move just barely outside SF’s city limits. This will encourage the establishment of restaurants in all the cities other than San Francisco. Brilliant!

I’d just ask my server, “Would you like me to pay the 1% surcharge or add it to your tip?”

Now do taxes the same way, please.

I’m just confused what a mural of Wednsday Adams has to do with Climate Change?

Good Lord, what weird cult behaviors we are going to see arise in the coming days. God knows what’s going to crawl out of the woke melting pot.

Notice how the $$$$$ collected goes to a “non-profit”. Then take a look at which politicians friends and family are running the “non-profit »
Also, when does a city run “non-profit” know how to advise farmers how to farm?
How dare they!!!

Piles of poop in the doorway causes customers to lose their appetite.

    CapeBuffalo in reply to dunce1239. | January 26, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    Perhaps the surviving San Francisco chefs can create a new delicacy from these doorway deliverys for their over woke diners.

It’s all about looting money. So blatant, and the unpaid followers so stupid.

Greta Dumbberg is thespitting image of herman goering.

Every dime will end up in a liberal’s pocket.

As if we need another reason for sane people to avoid SF & Califecal.

I fully expect restaurants in DC to charge an impeachment surcharge

2smartforlibs | January 26, 2020 at 5:55 pm

Why do I have to pay for their religion? No amount of liberal hubris will change the Milancovich cycle.

Maybe other restaurants should add an “anti-abortion” surcharge for all the now non-existent patrons that were murdered in the womb.

I doubt I’d ever go back to this restaurant if I lived in the area and had ever gone to it. So democrat of the owner.

The owner of Mission restaurant Great Gold told Mother Jones that after many diners commented negatively on it, the restaurant decided to drop the fee and raise prices by 1 percent instead, with the intention of sending that 1 percent to Restore California each month.

It appears that there are no remaining spheres of society, commerce and culture with regard to which the Dhimmi-crats can refrain from co-opting/subjugating in service of their totalitarian agenda and ethos.

The people in San Francisco are nuts. Of course, Kalifornicate is totally nuts as well.