beacher cafe toronto

Toronto restaurant defends charging customers small inflation fee on bill

A certain Beaches food establishment has come under some harsh criticism for charging customers a flat inflation fee on their total order.

Photos of a receipt from The Beacher Cafe, at Maclean Avenue and Queen Street, shows a total of $42.12, with an inflation fee charge of $1.44 or around three per cent.

The photo was posted to a local community group and quickly garnered some mixed reaction, though mostly negative. 

blogTO reached out to the Beacher Cafe to get their side of the story. The co-owner, Peter Martineau, responded by saying it's a "very, very simple" situation to explain.

"To reprint our menus is extremely costly. Inflation may be temporary. If we changed prices now and adjust each item, it would increase by $1.5 - $2 per item," he said.

He explained that this small fee is an attempt to "save our customers money and ourselves as well."

beacher cafe toronto

A photo of the bill at the Beacher Cafe.

This is just a temporary plan Martineau explained, as the Beacher Cafe is in the process of reprinting menus.

"We will remove the inflation tax when the new chef and I review all current food costs, utilities costs and then set new prices."

With the new menus, he estimates some items may increase even more than $2.

"It is an easier process to immediately get a price adjustment by using this method while planning to do a menu reprint," he said. 

Martineau told blogTO over last three years, the cafe has suffered and he hopes that if the city continues with the Cafe TO program, it should help the establishment pay off some debt.

"We never knew if we would make it through this terrible pandemic.  We had to wait out and see what and if we survived."

The Beacher Cafe is a staples in the Beaches community and has been serving up classic breakfast and brunch fares since 1986. 

"After 40 years in this business, I understand consumer perspective and those who hate will always hate and never say 'thank you for not increasing the prices by $2 per item'," he said.

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