Diners not pleased with surcharge offsetting minimum wage hike

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SAN DIEGO -- Julian Gallardo spent Monday evening with his family enjoying dinner at Liberty Station's Sammy's Woodfired Pizza. The food and company were great, but there was a surprise in his food bill.

A "California Mandate" surcharge for more than $3 was on Gallardo's bill. The extra charge is in place to help offset the cost of additional labor expenses brought on by the recent minimum wage hike.

On January 1, minimum wage went from $10.50 to $11.50 an hour.

"I wasn't told there was going to be an extra charge on my ticket. They should've told us or put up a sign out front saying 'hey we're charging an extra percentage,'" said Gallardo.

The additional 3 percent was being applied to many restaurants around San Diego including the ones operated by the Cohn Restaurant Group.

"The surcharge works better than raising prices and helps offset additional operating expenses," said David Cohn who is in charge the Cohn Restaurant Group. "It's something being done all over the country."