A customer dining at Washington's Oceanaire restaurant noticed an unusual line at the bottom of his receipt: "Due to the rising costs of doing business in this location, including costs associated with higher minimum wage rates, a 3% surcharge has been added to your total bill." He snapped a picture and sent it to local blog Popville, which posted a picture of his receipt. The outraged comments started rolling in.

"Just raise prices if you need to, don't try to slip this in under the radar and then pretty much blame [it] on employees who need to make a living!" wrote one commenter.


But the surcharge has now been removed, at least in Washington. When contacted by The Post, Landry's issued a statement from Tim Whitlock, senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer of the Oceanaire:


The minimum wage in Washington is $12.50 and will rise to $15 by 2020, according to legislation from the D.C. Council approved last year. The minimum wage for tipped workers in D.C. is $3.33, and will reach $5 by 2020.

A study earlier this year found that minimum wage hikes can force restaurants to close, as restaurateurs have been warning us for years -- but typically only bad restaurants. "Among 3.5-star restaurants, every $1 increase in the minimum wage increases the restaurant's chances of closing by 14 percent," wrote The Post's Caitlin Dewey. The Oceanaire currently has 3.5 stars on Yelp.

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