(BOB KIRKPATRICK|THE DAILY WORLD) Customers begin to trickle back to the 7-Eleven store on East Market Street after franchise owners on the Harbor lift the 25-cent surcharge on each purchase.

7-Eleven stores remove 25 cent per purchase surcharge

Area 7-Eleven franchise owners took a lot of heat on social media after The Daily World published a story about a 25-cent surcharge on every transaction, which was in response to the state’s minimum wage hike that went into effect Jan. 1. As a result, local franchisees have removed that fee and instead are looking into other ways to recover losses from the wage increase.

“Pending a holistic review of our prices we are suspending the transaction fee,” said Roger St. George, who owns the franchises on East Market and South Boone streets in Aberdeen. St. George said he spent a lot of time mulling the best way to make up for the mandated wage increase, and found the surcharge was the most fair. However, the backlash against the added fee was so severe St. George is now working with 7-Eleven’s corporate office in Dallas, Tex., to determine what can be done to fairly adjust prices in a way that will offer relief to franchise owners and be fair to customers.

St. George says that, while 7-Eleven will do the research and make recommendations, the final decision on pricing will come from franchise owners.

When asked for comment, 7-Eleven, Inc., offered the following statement: “Managing increasing minimum wages are a big challenge for our franchisees, and all small businesses, nationwide. This is especially true for our Seattle franchisees. 7-Eleven Inc. does not believe that surcharging customers is the best way to offset these expenses.”