Emporia restaurant faces challenges as food prices fluctuate dramatically

Local News

EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) — A local restaurant is charging diners a coronavirus fee.

The restaurant, Do-B’s, has been a staple in Emporia for about 10 years. But, 2020 has been a scary and unpredictable time for those in the restaurant business.

The restaurant, specializing in burgers, Philly cheesesteaks and Louisiana-style po’boys, started charging a 5% coronavirus fee on May 19. That’s a 50 cent increase for every $10 spent.

“We could have raised hamburger prices so that people were paying $15 or $20 for a hamburger, but it made more sense just by watching the market reports that there were going to be a lot of fluctuations,” said Daryn Bontrager, a co-owner.

As the pandemic continued on, the price of different ingredients increased. But it’s not just the food. They say the cost of gloves and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for their employees has risen. As more restaurants provide takeout, even the cost of the boxes has been an extra expense.

The new fee was made clear on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Lloyd and Bontrager said they are also taking time to explain the need for the charge to customers.

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