Earlier this week I wrote a story about the new 'Employee Wellness Fee' that showed up on checks from Five West in Rochester, Minnesota. It's been blowing up on social media after one customer shared their tab Facebook.

Prior to writing my first post, I hadn't heard back from Five West for comment on the situation. I've now had the chance to speak with the owner and I wanted to share his insight on the new fee.

Customers Confused by New 'Employee Wellness Fee' at Five West

As I mentioned, a customer shared a post on Facebook including their most recent check from Five West which included a new 'Employee Wellness Fee', which is 2% of your bill. And people had OPINIONS.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Rochester Restaurant Adds New Fee That's Confusing Customers

Five West Owner Responds Regarding New 'Employee Wellness Fee'

I was able to speak with the owner of Five West, Ryan, and get more clarification on this fee.

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He said that after months of research, this was a fee implemented about 7 weeks ago. He explained it as a "health insurance surcharge" which has now allowed all employees at all Rocket Restaurant Group locations (including Five West) who work an average of 20 hours per week or more to get health insurance.

In an industry that notoriously doesn't have health insurance available to their employees, this is a big deal to Rocket Restaurant Group and Ryan said he's really excited to now be able to offer this to his employees.

Ryan did mention that if you do not agree with the fee, there is an option to get the fee removed. He also told me that they will be updating their menus in about a month and when they get updated they will mention the 'Employee Wellness Fee'.

All 37 Minnesota Restaurants that Have Been Featured on the Food Network

Many Minnesota restaurants have been featured on the Food Network over the years. Some have closed now, but I checked out the Food Networks website, the Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives website, and TVFoodMaps.com to find all of the Minnesota restaurants that have been featured on their channel in the past and found these 37 (in no particular order) that are still open.

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