Your restaurant bill is about to get a little more expensive.
But it’s for a good cause: to help NYC restaurants whose business has suffered severely during the pandemic.
The NYC City Council approved a bill last month called the “COVID-19 Recovery Charge,” which would allow NYC restaurants to add an extra charge of up to 10% onto a customer’s bill. And now, with approval from Mayor de Blasio, it has officially gone into effect as of this weekend (Oct. 17-18).
The initial bill stated that it will last for 90 days after full indoor dining is once again allowed (25% capacity is currently approved, with 50% penciled in for November). The menu and bill would have to clearly disclose the charge and reasoning. They also must explicitly communicate that the surcharge is not a gratuity, and they cannot charge any more than 10%. The restaurant could use the money for whatever they decide.
The bill was sponsored by Staten Island City Council Member Joseph Borelli. The summary of the bill reads:
“Restaurants have struggled since the onset of COVID-19 and the associated in-person dining restrictions went into effect, forcing many out of business with many others barely surviving. However, current rules prohibit restaurants from charging any fees other than the listed price of food and drink, even if such surcharge is clearly disclosed. 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.”
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