The New York City Council has recently approved a law that allows restaurants to add a “COVID-19 Recovery Charge” to a customer’s bill.
“This bill would help restaurants by temporarily allowing them to add a ‘COVID-19 Recovery Charge’ of up to 10% of a customer’s total bill. The menu and bill would need to clearly disclose this charge. This surcharge would be permitted until 90 days after full indoor dining is once again permitted,” the law states.
Helping Restaurants Stay Afloat
New York City restaurants have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Restaurants in the city are only allowed to serve food outdoors. By the end of the month, they may offer indoor dining, but only at 25% capacity, Fox Business reported.
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“I know that we’re going to be fine, however, 25% for a lot smaller restaurants is not going to cut the bill, not when you have those looming commercial New York real estate to pay,” said Tren’ness Woods-Black, the vice president of communications of Sylvia’s, to Fox Business’s Maria Bartiromo.
Restaurants were previously prohibited from adding an extra charge to make up for COVID-19 losses. This took place “even if such surcharge is clearly disclosed,” the New York City Council website reads.
With the bill, restaurants can add a COVID-19 Recovery Charge.
“The City’s restaurant and hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic,” said a council press release. Many restaurants are “barely able to survive on outdoor dining or takeout,” it added. “Even when indoor dining resumes, restaurants will still operate below capacity and need the ability to charge a reasonable dining fee to stay afloat.”