COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Filling your stomach now comes at a higher price for a few restaurants in Downtown Colorado Springs.
The restaurant group Choice Restaurant Concepts, which owns several popular restaurants and bars in Downtown Colorado Springs, says they aren't raising prices, they're adding a 5% inflation surcharge to bills to help make ends meet.
"We are, so far, the only restaurant group that I know of that has instituted something like this," General Manager Travis Blaney told KRDO.
The group owns popular downtown spots T-Byrd's Tacos, Mood Tapas Bar, District 11, and Bird Tree Cafe.
The company implemented the change in the last month and says they've gotten some complaints, but not as many as they expected. It is advertised on the business website and on the bottom of the menus.
But, Blaney did say he doesn't want this to be a permanent charge.
"We are hopeful that this isn't a long-term situation," Blaney told KRDO.
A breakdown of the bill shows an extra 5% added on for an inflation surcharge, the 8.2% sales tax, and an additional 1.8% public improvement fee. In total, all customers are now paying 15% in taxes.
"It concerns us greatly, globally for the restaurant industry, everybody is concerned right now," Blaney added. With the summer rush over, he says they didn't have much of a choice.
“It pretty quickly became apparent that we were upside down on costs."
The approach though is quite different, and not everyone is on board.
"Why not just raise the prices of the food to make it match?" asked bargoer Jared Claybaugh.
Blaney says they don't want to raise prices, because he thinks it's bad business to lower the prices if deflation happens.
"You know, if it doesn't need to be 5%, if it only needs to be three to make things work for us, then we can adjust it on the fly, in the moment, as we go."
Blaney added that another contributing factor to this is the increase in the price of natural gas from Colorado Springs Utilities. Right now commercial businesses are paying 33% more than just one month ago.