$2 COVID-19 Fee Applied to Orders Over $10 at Denver Restaurant

A restaurant is coping with operation costs amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by adding a COVID-19 fee to customers' bills.

Bonnie Brae Tavern is a family-run restaurant that has operated successfully in Denver, Colorado since 1934. But Michael Dire, whose family has run the restaurant for four generations, told KDVR their business is down up to 60 percent due to coronavirus.

Dire told the station the restaurant was forced to introduce a $2 fee on orders over $10 to help cover the costs associated with staying open amid the pandemic, such as cleaning and personal protective gear.

He said the restaurant also has to print disposable menus every day to comply with safety mandates imposed during the pandemic.

Dire said the cost of some of the essential items needed to operate safely, such as gloves, have risen sharply.

"It's a two dollar charge, we didn't want to be extravagant with it but we hope people understand we had to do it in order to keep the doors open," Dire said.

According to KDVR, a sign has been posted at the entrance to the restaurant alerting customers about the fee.

Dan Hurley, a customer who was forced to retire early due to COVID-19, was stunned when he saw the fee on his bill during his visit to Bonnie Brae Tavern on Friday.

Hurley told KDVR he was noticed the cost of his pizza and salad was higher than usual and was "taken aback" to see the fee added to the bill, adding that he had not seen other restaurants doing anything similar.

Dire said the restaurant would start noting the new fee on the disposable menus printed every day.

Newsweek has contacted Bonnie Brae Taven for additional comment.

Colorado has more than 52,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 1,900 deaths, according to the latest figures from the state's health department. Denver has more than 10,000 cases and 420 deaths.

Last month, Colorado Gov. Jared Polis announced that all individuals aged 11 and older will be required to wear masks or face coverings whenever they are in public indoor spaces to limit the spread of the virus.

On Friday, Polis extended the statewide mandate just as it was set to expire, meaning it will stay in place until at least September 13.

Colorado
Closed restaurants are seen in Denver, Colorado after they were prohibited from having patrons dine-in on March 17, 2020. One restaurant in the city is charging a COVID-19 fee to help cover the costs of staying open. Matthew Stockman/Getty Images