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Restaurant slammed after charging customers 4 percent health insurance fee

An Atlanta restaurant has taken some hits for adding an unfamiliar fee to its customers' bills. JenChanâs Pizza and Chinese in Cabbagetown, Georgia, received hate on social media after a customer called out the restaurantâs 4% fee for employees' health insurance on the bill. The customer posted a photo of the bill on Reddit last month, which showed an extra $2.02 charge at the bottom. It received over 2,000 comments and nearly 9,000 reactions, although the Redditor has since deleted the original post. Criticism trickled in from others, with one Facebook user even commenting on a photo of JenChan's owners â showing the married couple Jen and Emily Chan, plus their child â with these ominous words: "Iâve never seen a family that needs to be beaten up more, make that health care come in handy." https://www.facebook.com/jenchans https://www.yelp.com/biz/jenchans-atlanta?sort_by=date_desc

An Atlanta restaurant has taken some hits for adding an unfamiliar fee to its customers’ bills.

JenChan’s Pizza and Chinese in Cabbagetown, Georgia, received hate on social media after a customer called out the restaurant’s 4% fee for employees’ health insurance on the bill.

The customer posted a photo of the bill on Reddit last month, which showed an extra $2.02 charge at the bottom.

It received over 2,000 comments and nearly 9,000 reactions, although the Redditor has since deleted the original post.

Criticism trickled in from others, with one Facebook user even commenting on a photo of JenChan’s owners — showing the married couple Jen and Emily Chan, plus their child — with these ominous words: “I’ve never seen a family that needs to be beaten up more, make that health care come in handy.”

The owners responded in a statement posted on Facebook on Dec. 29, 2023, writing that “everything seemed fine” when they served the customer in question at the restaurant.

They also pointed out that the health insurance charge is completely optional — and that any customer can opt out of paying it.

“We post it on the menu itself and the receipt to avoid this,” the restaurant wrote.

“It has been on the menu for about a year now; we were inspired by another couple of restaurants here that do the same.”

In Feb. 2023, JenChan posted on Facebook, “Our health insurance premiums for our employees went from $408 per employee to $650. Unsustainable. Congress? Bueller … “

The following notice is posted on the restaurant’s menu and bills.

“On your receipt you will notice 4% health insurance we implemented after our premiums more than tripled last year. Thank you for being a part of our efforts to ensure our staff can seek care for whatever mental or physical ailments they may face. We have appreciated all the positive feedback from you, thank you! Please know that we will be more than happy to remove this for you without hesitation.”

The restaurant also stated in the same Facebook post that other businesses handle rising costs by either shrinking their portion sizes or increasing their prices.

“On your receipt you will notice 4% health insurance we implemented after our premiums more than tripled last year. Thank you for being a part of our efforts to ensure our staff can seek care for whatever mental or physical ailments they may face. We have appreciated all the positive feedback from you, thank you! Please know that we will be more than happy to remove this for you without hesitation.”

In an interview with Fox 5 Atlanta, Emily Chan said many people have asked why the owners haven’t folded health insurance costs into “the price of their fried rice.”

“We don’t want to do that,” she said. “We want to raise awareness. We want people to see that there’s a crisis.”

In its post, the restaurant noted that “this is a hostile climate for small business owners with rising food costs, taxes, inflation, you name it.”

The establishment also wrote, “We are just trying to keep our doors open and our employees’ health insurance covered, and we are doing it as transparently and honestly as we can. Because we do care.”

JenChan’s opened its doors six months before the coronavirus pandemic, which put a strain on business.

The owners claimed that they have yet to make an “actual profit,” and pointed out numerous other small independent Atlanta eateries that have not survived.

“If we didn’t do something, we would have [had] to cancel the insurance or close our doors,” the statement said.

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