Several Swiss hotels and restaurants add 5 percent energy surcharge to bills

Several Swiss hotels and restaurants add 5 percent energy surcharge to bills

To help cope with the cost of energy in Switzerland - which has risen by up to 261 percent in 2022 - hotels and restaurants in the alpine nation have started to add an “energy surcharge” to customers' bills. Entrepreneurs argue that it is the only way to keep their doors open.

Swiss hotel and restaurant group add 5 percent surcharge to bills

According to Watson, the Balance Group, which owns a number of luxury hotels and restaurants in several Swiss cantons, now adds a 5 percent surcharge to guests’ bills, up to a maximum cost of 999 Swiss francs. On the bill, the extra charge is listed as an “energy cost contribution” (Energiekostenbeitrag).

"If we were to bear these costs ourselves, we wouldn't be able to survive in the long term…It's simply not possible from an entrepreneurial point of view, we have to pass on these costs", Balance Group president Felix Suhner told Watson. He said that his hotels in Canton Aargau now have to pay 10 times more for each kilowatt hour of energy than the year before and that he would have switched off the power during the COVID pandemic, had he known that prices would rise so much.

Prices at Swiss hotels and restaurants expected to rise

The Balance Group is not alone, with hotel and restaurant association Gastrosuisse telling Blick that energy prices for businesses are increasing across the board. President Casimir Platzer told the newspaper that "Gastrosuisse generally recommends constantly considering rising costs in their prices in order to continue to ensure economic operation."

Watson found that most restaurants and hotels will put up their prices to deal with the heightened energy costs. It is also likely that hotels in Swiss ski resorts in the mountains will increase prices when the weather gets colder. These price rises will be done either explicitly on receipts or with higher general rates. Concluding his statement, Platzer recommended that businesses follow the Balance Group’s lead and make the charge transparent on bills.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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