Ashley Nichole: Woman sparks online debate after spotting a strange 5% charge on check

Ashley Nichole: Woman sparks online debate after spotting a strange 5% charge on check
A woman spoke out about an 'employee health' charge on her check at a restaurant (Screenshot from the Young Turks/YouTube)

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A woman’s pleasant dinner with her friends turned into a fierce debate online after she noticed an unusual charge on her restaurant check. Ashley Nichole, 33, was enjoying her meal at Osteria La Buca in Los Angeles when she spotted an additional 5% charge for "Employee Health" on the check.


Nichole narrated the incident on a social media video on January 10, with the caption, “Is This Normal”. "The weirdest thing just happened to me," she began. She described how it was a rainy day and her friends decided to meet for a meal at an Italian restaurant, which she had visited "multiple times" in the past. “We enjoy our meal, we get the check, we pay for our check, and as we are, like, signing the tip and stuff, we notice something,” Nichole noted, according to Today.


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‘What is employee health? What does that mean?’

The video then turns to a screenshot of her bill, which revealed what Nichole and her friends ordered for dinner. “If you notice down here towards the bottom, there is a $4.75 charge for employee health. Do you see that?” she asks in the video. “A 5% charge for employee health. Immediate thought is: ‘What is employee health? What does that mean?’” She then decides to ask the restaurant what the fee covers after discussing a few possibilities with her friend at the table before leaving.



“As we’re walking out, I go up to the hostess and I’m like, 'Hey, quick question, just curious,’” Nichole says, adding that she directed the hostess' attention toward the 5% charge. “And she goes, ‘Oh, that’s our health care,’” Nichole says while giving a bewildered gaze into the camera. “And my reaction was, ‘Your health? Your health care?’ and she goes, ‘Yes, our health care,’” she said. Next, in the video, she asked her viewers if this was a normal practice at other restaurants as well.


‘Just tax and tip’

The video soon garnered immense attention with comments ranging from outrage to disbelief. “Wait! What? How is it now a customer's responsibility to [pay] for their healthcare,” wrote one user on TikTok. “I’m sorry but I’m not paying for this. Just tax and tip, health care should be cover [sic] by employer. These fees are getting out of hand,” a second user said while a third noted, “If I’m paying for someone’s health, Can I now claim them as a dependent on my taxes right?!?” “The cost could be added to your menu items and you’d never know or care,” another person pointed out.

Nichole later told BuzzFeed that initially, she thought the restaurant staffer made some mistake. "This was my first time ever seeing anything like this. Once I asked the hostess to clarify what the charge was, I was simply confused why I was the one paying for the healthcare of my server," she said. She continued that after reading the comments on TikTok, she realized that the charge was unusual. "The overwhelming response was that most people hadn't seen anything like it," she concluded.


This article contains remarks made on the Internet by individual people and organizations. MEAWW cannot confirm them independently and does not support claims or opinions being made online.

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 Woman sparks online debate after spotting a strange 5% charge on check