New 3% culinary fee added to items at two Auburn restaurants

New 3% culinary fee added to items at two Auburn restaurants

AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) - You might pay a little more the next time you decide to eat out in Auburn now that two restaurants, The Hound and The Depot, have added a 3% culinary fee to all food items.

According to the manager and part-owner of The Hound, Kasha Walters, the two restaurants are doing this to provide higher wages to their kitchen employees and to keep the most talented people possible working at their restaurants.

Walters said 100% of the money made from the 3% surcharge goes to their kitchen staff.

“We do not take any of that,” Walters said. “It goes completely to them.”

This surcharge was added to tackle the nationwide culinary labor shortage.

“We kind of weighed out a couple different options,” Walters said. “For us to get our wages where we feel they’re competitive and we feel they are comparable to what our front-of-house staff might be making, we looked at raising our prices, we looked at all different avenues. We decided the culinary fee was best.”

Walters said the response from customers so far has been overwhelmingly positive

“We practice a business of integrity and we try to be as transparent as we can,” Walter said. “Most people who know us know that’s who we are, and they have been extremely supportive."

Walters said they welcome any questions or concerns.

“Please be willing to ask questions,” Walters said. “Before you make up your mind and decide we’re absolutely wrong, please shoot me an email. We are willing to have a conversation. We might not convince everyone this is the right way, but we’re doing everything in our power to take care of our staff.”

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