Beware the Deceptive CNF Charge at Beer Park, Hexx Kitchen at Paris Las Vegas and Others

The Budweiser Beer Park has opened and Paris Las Vegas, but we’ll never be back.

Why? The new restaurant and bar is the latest Las Vegas venue to ding customers with the deplorable CNF charge, also known as the “Concession and Franchise Fee.”

Beer Park Paris Las Vegas

A perfectly good rooftop bar ruined by WTF.

The CNF charge is also in effect at Beer Park’s downstairs neighbor, Hexx Kitchen & Bar.

The CNF charge gouges customers 4.7% on every check. Most customers don’t even know about the charge until they get their bill.

Essentially, the “Concession and Franchise Fee” is like a resort fee, but unlike with resort fees, you get absolutely nothing for your money. At all. Whatsoever.

Beer Park Paris Las Vegas

Remember the name so you can remember to forget to go there.

This disgusting charge means if Beer Park served a liquid cure for cancer served from vaginas made of gold, delivered by dolphins, we would never, ever go there again. And we are a big fan of dolphins. And vaginas, come to think of it.

We’d love to be able to talk about the Beer Park space, the social games it provides (like pool and cornhole), the selection of beer, the food menu. But the CNF charge sends us into such a rage, we honestly don’t care about any of that. Gratuitous, slimy, devious charges negate any positives, plain and simple.

Beer Park's CNF fee, like it's pool tables, requires lots of balls.

Beer Park’s CNF charge, like it’s pool tables, requires lots of balls.

Why do we call the CNF charge “devious”? Because, as we mentioned, the vast majority of customers are unaware of the charge until it’s too late.

Here’s a look at the Beer Park menu. The giant red arrow isn’t on the actual menu, although that would be a step in the right direction.

Beer Park Las Vegas menu

Beer Park reserves the right to have a blatant disregard for honorable business practices.

Oh, yes, there’s a mention of the 4.7% CNF charge but in microprint, at the end of a blurb about the dangers of eating undercooked food.

Las Vegas CNF charge

It would be funny if it weren’t so infuriating.

This has “deceptive business practice” written all over it.

So, you know what? Screw you, Beer Park, and we’re going to do everything in our power to keep people away from your despicable den of deception. We’re so worked up, we’re breaking out in alliteration.

Same goes for you, Hexx.

Hexx Kitchen CNF charge

No one has ever been able to provide a legitimate reason for this fee, but it’s always entertaining when they try.

It’s worth noting the “Concession fee” also applies to retail items purchased at Hexx. Thanks to @pbechervaise on Twitter for that tidbit.

Beer Park and Hexx aren’t the first Las Vegas establishments to screw guests over with these hidden charges. (Thanks to reader Jon Nichols for alerting us to the CNF charge at Beer Park, by the way.)

Also guilty of this shameless, shameful money grab are Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood and Rhumbar at Mirage. Read more.

Update (2/28/18): We’re pleased to report Señor Frog’s at TI has discontinued its CNF charge. The venue still charges a live entertainment tax during periods where there’s, you know, live entertainment.

The only good news about this fee, if there is any, is unlike with other fees (such as paid parking), we have the power to do something about it.

The solution to the growing problem of CNF charges is easy: Don’t go to these places. Run, don’t walk, to establishments that appreciate you and your patronage.

What can you do if you’re presented with a bill that includes a CNF charge you didn’t know about? Refuse to pay it. Talk to a manager, demand the charge be reversed and raise holy hell. Tell everyone you know to stay away. E-mail. Tweet. Comment on Facebook. Rant. Rail. Fight back.

Let these venues know we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it in the cornhole anymore.

Here’s a list of restaurants and bars that have a CNF (concession fee) in Las Vegas:

  • Cabo Wabo Cantina at Planet Hollywood
  • Hexx at Paris Las Vegas
  • Beer Park at Paris Las Vegas
  • Alexxa’s Bar at Paris Las Vegas
  • Chayo Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar at Linq Promenade
  • Flights at Miracle Mile Shops (“service charge”)
  • Blondie’s at Miracle Mile Shops (“Food/Non-Alc Tax”)
  • Light Nightclub and Daylight Beachclub at Mandalay Bay (“service fee”)
  • Encore Beach Club and XS nightclub at Encore (“service fee”)
  • Dick’s Last Resort (“resort fee,” Strip and downtown locations)

Update (5/6/18): It seems guests are having some success disputing this charge. From Candice in our blog comments, “Just ate at Hexx last night and noticed the CNF charge and asked the waitress about it. She gave a strange explanation then said she could remove it if we wanted, uh, yeah, please remove, and she did!” Fight the power

Update (6/28/19): Rhumbar at Mirage was on our CNF charge list for a long time, but we hear management has been taken over by MGM Resorts, and customers no longer get the CNF charge.

Udpate (7/19/19): Hexx and Beer Park have raised their CNF charges from 4.7% to 4.85%. We are not making this up.

CNF charge Las Vegas

Adding injury to WTF, note the menu design. A rubber band covers up the CNF charge. Seriously shady.

Update (10/25/19): MGM Resorts says it discontinued service fees on drinks in Sep. 2019.

Update (11/7/19): The L.A. Times did a great story about CNF charges and fees, and not just because we were featured in the story. Shockingly, a rep for Hexx and Alexxa’s boldly told the publication, “Should a guest be uncomfortable with the surcharge, our policy is to explain it and, if appropriate, remove it.” So, as we’ve said for some time, if you’re “uncomfortable” with these asinine CNF and other fees, have them removed.

84 thoughts on “Beware the Deceptive CNF Charge at Beer Park, Hexx Kitchen at Paris Las Vegas and Others

  1. MikeJenkinson

    Interesting. Huh. And a shame, too, because I love eating at Hexx.

    But here’s an honest question: Why not just deduct the Concession fee from your tip when paying? If the restaurant is going to essentially add 5% to my bill JUST BECAUSE then when you’re swiping your credit card at the end of the meal, only put in an additional 5% tip (or 10% if you’re still feeling generous at this point)?

    Or, better yet, DON’T TIP and tell them that their automatic 4.7% extra fee cost them their tip.

    1. MikeS29

      Being a server, I can tell you that the only thing that is doing is hurting your server. The restaurant GM would laugh at you if you thought that you were hurting the restaurant by tipping like that. The restaurant is still getting their money regardless and doesn’t care if the server gets a 5% or 30% tip. The server shouldn’t be punished because the restaurant decided to put a BS fee onto the bill, because I’m sure they’re not a fan of it either since I’m sure they have to answer the question of what is this fee on a daily basis.

      1. MikeJenkinson

        OK, that’s fair. But given that the alternative is boycotting the restaurant, which hurts everyone – servers, cooks, hosts, and the owner, I somehow doubt that the servers would actually support the option that I spend NO money at the restaurant.

        Maybe I’m wrong about that. Maybe a mass exodus of customers and an empty restaurant would make the owners realize that the Concession fee is a bad idea.

        1. Mary

          I would rather you not visit the restaurant. once numbers go down they will understand the CNF is hurting their bottom line.

      2. Ryan

        I was also a server at one time and I would argue that boycotting the place altogether is punishing the servers more than going there and reducing your tip amount. If you boycott, they get nothing from you. I remember getting horrible shifts once in a while at the restaurant I was at where you knew it would be slow. There was nothing worse than being forced to be there collecting your measly hourly wage staring at an empty restaurant knowing there were no tips coming at all. I would prefer a restaurant full of poor tippers (as long as they weren’t a-holes) rather than nothing.

        1. chemicle

          While I understand your point Ryan. I also work hard for my dollars and I have never once stepped inside an establishment thinking that me going there was rewarding the servers. Never had it occurred to me that when I have made a conscious choice to stay away from an establishment – that I was in fact punishing a server. FLAT OUT – THE ESTABLISHMENT IS PUNISHING THE SERVERS for adding this BS fee. The best part about the capitalist system is people having a choice about where they patron. The fees drive away the customers, not the servers. No, it’s not the servers fault, but the customers shouldn’t just be expected to suck it up and pay it. To say staying away is punishing the servers is really quite naive, at least when it comes to consumerism and those consumers parting with their hard earned dollars.

      3. chemicle

        While I understand the point that not tipping, or tipping less is only hurting the server (my wife served a lot of years) The shady practice of adding 4.7% to a bill for absolutely nothing in return is nothing more than a blatant money grab. Add it to the price of food if you need to collect it. But with the trend of these random BS fees just piling up with nothing offered in return, I see Mike’s point. The alternative is just me staying away from the establishments that charge these fees. Vegas is fun, but when corporate America took over, they essentially made of point of gouging as much money from their patrons with little regard of value and good time. Eventually people will just take their vacation dollars and go elsewhere. Me? I”ll start by going where concession fees aren’t charged.. It’s just the principal of it.

    2. swampguy

      Better yet don’t go there!!! Caesars is driving away customers with their new group of lowlife tactics.Downtown looking better every single day.Caesars trying to become profitable on the backs of their customers…How about better management, better odds and better customer care. That would bring back or keep a lot more customers then gouging them at every oppurtunity. We blow a lot of money at CET, but we don’t like feeling “ripped off” while doing so!!!! Becoming very disgrunteled with CET!!!

    3. goodgamble

      No. Dont do that. That isnt sticking it to management, it is sticking it to the servers and food runners and bus staff.

    4. JK Grence

      Are you familiar with the phrase “Don’t shoot the messenger”? The waiter had nothing to do with it. Taking your frustrations out on them is useless and just makes you look like a cheap jackass looking for an excuse to get out of tipping. It’s much better to tip the waiter in cash, don’t sign the credit card slip, and then call your credit card company about a chargeback regarding deceptive charges placed on your bill.

      1. Scott Roeben

        I like that. As you said, the servers take the hit quite often, as customers are going to pay what they’re going to pay. Your workaround sounds like a fine option if one must go to these places.

    5. LVCool

      Why would you make the wait staff pay for something some corporate pencil pusher came up with? What does stiffing the waitress accomplish?
      Sounds like that is something you do anyway.

    6. Mary

      Because the server doesnt get that money, the restaraunt does. The server has ZERO to do with that charge!! Youbarr hurting someone making a living, not the person profiteering off the charge!!

    7. Lee

      Why punish the serving staff? Double so because you tip so little (apparently) to begin with.
      Address the management, fill out a customer satisfaction card Those are more effective and do not harm the server who has no control over the issue.

    8. Felipo Sacco

      Nothing but a way to rip of customers who are likely drunk and won’t notice the fee. Take the following steps..
      1. Subtract from tip and tell server why. Servers will complain to management when they are getting tips cut in half.
      2. Servers will eventually quit and go work somewhere when fee is not charged.
      3. Restaurant or bar will get tired of constantly replacing and training new staff.

  2. Troy Swezey

    Talk to the manager. Yeah right. We tried that Sugar Factory and the ‘manager’ just shrugged his shoulders and said it was because of their awesome location and there is nothing he could do.
    That was the last time I went there.
    Thank you Vital Vegas for giving me yet another reason NOT to go to that stinky beer park. First of the place looks stupid and it ruined to beautiful look Paris used to have.
    (At least on the exterior. The Ramsey place ruined the interior.)

  3. Rickster

    Sounds like the future of Vegas… Exactly why i left the place. Along with this goes paid parking and CVS, Walgreens, and Mickey D’s and food courts taking over because the casinos want a steady income with lease agreements and corporate america are the only ones that can afford the lease terms. CVS and walgrees are killing it because u cant get a free drink anymore on the casino floor; MGMs profit growth plan and $8/9 bud lights are giving CVS and walgreens record revenue numbers. Vegas is loosing traction! I understand that things evolve, but with the EDM slow down and the current generation slowing their spend…. Vegas is still trying to recoup falling gaming revenues… All the while the big shots for MGM,Caesars, etc. are still collecting multi million dollar bonuses while their companies are in massive debts. Vegas is changing and im glad im not a part of it.

    1. Dr Dee

      Wrong I was just was there, stayed at Bellagio and spent a few nights hanging out Fremont St there was no shortage of ‘free drinks’ in the casinos I hit, of course I tip….

    2. Michael Chavez

      I have to agree. Downtown is the way to go if you still want that old Vegas vibe with great customer service. I haven’t stayed on the strip in years and don’t plan to anytime soon.

  4. Alan Hutson

    Not a fan of fees, and I wasnt headed to a Budweiser-anything any time soon, but it doesnt make sense that the F in CNF is fees. If it was CFF then yes. Also it’s funnier as Confession and Franchise fee, but I think thats a typo in the first part of the article.

  5. Vice

    We will be in Vegas on Wednesday and were planning to visit the beer park. I won’t go now and think the charge is disgusting at best. It was the reason we never ate at the Sugar Factory or Cabo Wabo. We actually went to the Sugar Factory and walked out when I found out. Spread the word people! and this stuff won’t happen.

      1. chemicle

        I think that it’s more about the fact that Vegas is continually offering less at a higher price. 4.7% for absolutely NOTHING. The food prices are already quite high. This means less gambling money for people that haven’t budgeted for it. While you might be better off than some people, sounding facetious isn’t really needed SlotChik

    1. JK Grence

      Most likely some combo of both. When the hotel says, “The rent is X dollars plus Y percent of gross sales”, the Y is the concession fee. Franchise fee is the restaurant’s parent corporation (e.g. Sugar Factory, Cabo Wabo, or Señor Frog’s) saying “We will let you call your restaurant Cabo Wabo in exchange for stocking Cabo Wabo products that you can only buy from us, plus X percent of gross sales.” Add up those two percents and stick your clientele with a CNF fee on their way out the door instead of adding it to the price of the food and drink like even a borderline reputable business would do.

  6. Adam Bauer

    I’m still trying to figure out exactly what this covers. Why not just increase every menu item’s price by 5%? Then there is no need to sneaky charges. CNF usually refers to shipping, but I’m really not understanding it in the Vegas restaurant context.

    1. Scott Roeben

      Completely agree. Apparently, these places feel they’d lose customers if their prices were higher, but not if they tack on a shady charge. I’ve heard this reflects a premium the venues are charged by their host hotels. Some places like Mon Ami Gabi get the charge but just fold it into their prices.

  7. Misslaydj

    Ahh love fees. I remember you telling us about Cabo Wabo and the water fee at Border Grill. I ate at Hexx but didnt pay. My pro in law did. I did get a scorpion bowl at the mirage and didnt realize the charge. how depressing.

  8. mbutler91c

    Thanks for this information. I was planning on heading out there when my friends and I hit Vegas next month for a long weekend…not now. Good to know information.

    1. Misslaydj

      But its the 5 percent that we don’t have to pay. no one likes giving away money for nothing. What if its 5 percent everywhere u went?

  9. Johnny Van

    I recall the same scam at Monte Carlo’s Double Barrel Roadhouse where a draft of Bud or Miller Lite ends up costing over $10 with the CNF and tax. Has anyone compiled a list of places with such fees? I am looking forward to trying The Still at Mirage my next trip and am curious if it too has such a fee.

    1. Scott Roeben

      Double Barrel Roadhouse does have surprise charges, but I don’t think it’s the CNF. I’ll have to find out more, as it should definitely join the list, no matter what they call the charges.

      1. Sam

        Double Barrel hit me with some charges like that a month or so after they opened. They also charged the extra “entertainment” tax, even though the band was not playing. Some girls came out and danced on the overhead catwalk where they could best be seen by people outside the restaurant, in hopes to draw people in. I thought all of the extra charges were pretty shady.

        The food and drink there were OK, but nothing special. The server was good.

        I got absolutely nowhere with the managers when I complained about the extra charges. And frankly, that shithole is the only place I have ever complained to a restaurant, so its not like I make a habit of it. I thought their management is extremely poor there.

        At first, I was so mad that I took it out on the server’s tip. Then when I had a few minutes to reflect, I realized it certainly wasn’t his fault, he had been fine. So I found him and gave him some more cash.

        But what I haven’t done is ever patronized that place again.

        I have been back inside though. I’ll sometimes stop in there and take a dump. And I’m 100% serious about that. The only way I’ll go in their crappy restaurant is to do exactly that. F that place!

  10. George Dixon

    Boy people are cheap. Look at the total – if it seems like a good value for your total outlay – go back. If it doesn’t don’t go back. Don’t get distracted by the way it prints on the check. They could have easily hidden it in the menu prices – is that somehow less “sneaky” than putting it on the menu and highlighting it on the check. It’s probably money that they don’t keep as operators and it goes directly to the site per their lease agreement. Spelling it out on the check makes it obvious.

    Anyway – 5% isn’t some big deal. JMO

      1. George Dixon

        as it would be if they just rolled it into the prices – as I said before, it is likely a revenue sharing mechanism that is in their lease and goes to the landlord – not the operators

  11. Alex

    The second paragraph calls this a “Confession” fee. I’m assuming that should be “Concession”, right?

      1. MikeJenkinson

        Given that it’s Vegas, hotels and restaurants could raise a ton more dough with a CONFESSION fee. 🙂

    1. Rebecca Kennedy

      Someone should open a confession booth in Vegas. People might want to repent before they go home. Lol, they might make a profit.

  12. William Wingo

    As with resort fees, I find myself wondering why anyone would think this trick would work more than once. Sure they’ve got you the first time since it’s in the fine print on the menu–but then you are so disgusted that you simply never come back, and tell your friends and perhaps even your enemies about it. The restaurant gains a little short-term income spike at the cost of massive, long-term customer ill-will.

    Something like this happened to us a few years ago with parking fees. We had spent the afternoon at a downtown casino playing poker and video poker for about five hours. On the way out of the parking deck we were charged $4.50 for parking because the parking voucher was good for only two hours. I paid it, and yes, it was a relatively small amount–but we haven’t been back downtown since. For me that $4.50 fee became the defining impression of the place.

    Maybe I’ll see you in Laughlin….

  13. James

    I’m staying at PH, and we had planned to visit the beer park, but on the advice here won’t trouble ourselves. Plenty of other options!

  14. another_interested_observer

    Niagara Falls has a similar thing going on. Problem is there is no consistency there when talking with staff. Some say it’s a tax, some say its a fee, some say it goes to Marketing and some say it is voluntary and some say mandatory! A mess. the first time I paid a resort fee years ago, I was caught off guard as I had bought a air/hotel package and got the surprise at the front desk. I was obviously pissed. Now it is Meh and I factor them into my costs and purchase decision. At restaurants, this is quite deceptive and should be outlawed. What is the difference between $10 + 5% and $10,50? nothing except unless you brought a magnifying glass, you would have missed it. If I know a restaurant that is charging this, I will not patronize it now but, what happens when all restaurants do it? I guess it is basic economics – keep raising prices until there are empty seats – I have no problem with that, being a red blooded capitalist but, deception is simply wrong. I wish these establishments would grow some and just raise their prices by x% and how things are.

  15. George Z

    Let’s really get beer park’s and hexx’s attention. There are 53 reviews on yelp that give them an average of 4 stars. If the 30 or so people on this thread that are disgusted by this hidden fee say so with a 1 star review, I’m pretty sure that would bring there average down to 1 star on yelp, thus getting the management’s attention. Same thing on trip advisor and facebook. Hit them where the tourists look.

    When they charge $5 for an ice tea, we are already paying for their “awesome location”.

    Please don’t take it out on the wait and bar staff, they probably didn’t see the fine print on their job application that reads, “you are applying to work for a restaurant that has an unfair hidden 4.7% bs charge on every check which will reflect in lower tips from the pissed off customers that notice it”.

  16. Todd Sterling

    We went to Beer Park in February when we were out there for the Super Bowl. I don’t know if the CNF charge was the surprise or the $20.00 for a pitcher of bud light. Just so you know I think the last time I was at BW3’s in Columbus, Ohio a pitcher of bud was something like $8 or $9. Funny thing tho….when we were there we sucked down at least 2 if not 3 pitchers. It’s Vegas, I’m starting to get used to all the fees. Don’t like them but for most of us it’s a vacation and I’m not going to worry about a dollar or two when I have no problems dropping $hundreds$ at the tables. Now if I had to pay them all the time my opinion might be different.

  17. Mark Wittig

    not a big fan of even the “crafty” beers there, especially for the price they are charging. But than to add tax and this fee, will bring in my own beer from the walgreens and than play some suffle board

  18. Photoncounter

    Seizures lost my business several years ago for a variety of reasons and I haven’t spent a dime in any of their casinos or restaurants so the beer park doesn’t exist to me. MGM just lost my play because of a host and the parking issue. Senor frogs gave me, umm, intestinal runaway the one time I ate there and the Rhumbar is over priced, noisy and smoky so off with their heads too!

    I vote with my wallet. Pretty soon there won’t be any place to go! Maybe if we all did the same they’d get the message? Just dreaming… The large corporations will always have conventions to keep them busy and plenty of silly visitors to fool.

  19. ncsurob

    I hate to hear this. I was looking forward to a laid-back semi-outdoor bars on the strip. Any recommendations that would fit the vibe, but not the dumb charges?

  20. Bouldersteve

    Spoke to several people who checked out the Beer Park. Not one said they would return. The hidden fee is just one of the problems. Got a feeling its not long for this world.

  21. tsh85

    I refuse to support any Las Vegas business that enforces hidden and deceptive CNF charges on their patrons! It’s bad enough all of the hotels charge resort fees on their rooms, but now we are expected to pay hidden resort fees on our food….I don’t think so!

  22. Scott

    Going to vegas in a couple of months. Glad I came across this post. Looks like i will NOT be visiting any of these establishments!

  23. Max Bright

    Scott Roeben… It will soon be 3 years since this article was written… Is there an updated (2018) list of establishments that charge this CNF fee..? Thank you for the heads up…!

  24. Al

    Just do what i did. Lower the tip to balance. My bill was $200 including $9 cnf bill. I gave $20 tip. That is perfect. Everyone wins. …


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