A $28 Samuel Adams Beer at LaGuardia Airport Sparks Restaurant Audit: 'LOL at All of This'
A LaGuardia Airport traveler went viral after he shared a photo of a menu, revealing a Samuel Adams Summer Ale that was listed at $27.85.
"Lol at all of this, including the additional 10 percent 'Covid Recovery Fee' that doesn't go to workers," Cooper Lund tweeted on July 7 along with a photo of the beer menu at the Biergarten bar.
The lowest-priced glass of beer was listed at $13.95 for Michelob Ultra Drought with the highest being the nearly $28 Sam Adams.
At the bottom of the menu stated, "Covid-19 Recovery Charge: 10% of items ordered added to the bill," noting that it is "not a gratuity for employees.
The COVID-19 Recovery Charge was implemented on Oct. 17, 2020 in New York City, which allows restaurants to tax consumers up to 10 percent "of the customer's total bill, not including taxes and gratuity, and cannot be charged as a flat dollar amount," according to the city's website.
However, the website states, "On May 19, 2021, the State lifted indoor dining capacity in New York City, meaning restaurants can operate indoors at full capacity. As a result, starting Aug. 17, 2021, restaurants cannot require customers to pay the COVID-19 Recovery Charge."
In response to the LaGuardia customer's photo, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that they are going to audit OTG Management's prices. OTG is the company responsible for food and beverages at New York airports including LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy, and Newark Liberty International.
"While terminal operators and concession management companies determine pricing at airports based upon comparison locations within the greater New York City and Northern New Jersey Metropolitan Area, the Port Authority is committed to enforcing that all terminal operators and concessionaires adhere to cost parity policies throughout our airports," a Port Authority spokesperson told PEOPLE on Tuesday.
"We know this market is expensive enough already, so we're committed to everything we can do to ensure reasonable pricing for our customers," the agency added. "At our request, OTG is conducting a full audit of their pricing, and we will be working with all of our terminal operators and concession partners to review pricing across restaurants and airports to ensure customers are being treated fairly."
In response, OTG told PEOPLE, "This is a situation where someone simply input the wrong prices."
"Once we learned of it, we immediately took action to correct and began proactively auditing our entire system to ensure there were no other mistakes," the company added. "OTG took this initiative on its own."
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OTG also tweeted a response to the LaGuardia customer, writing, "Yikes. GOOD CATCH! That Sam Summer **price is incorrect** and has been updated. + note all other listed prices are for 23oz pours."
They also seemingly offered a free beer.
"DM us next time you're passing through - on us," OTG tweeted.