From earlier this week, diners at restaurants and bars in New York City may see an additional charge on their final bill.
Restaurant rentals in the city are now allowed to add a COVID-19 recovery recovery charge for in-and-out meals – takeaways and delivery orders are excluded. Participating restaurants must clearly display any additional costs on their menus.
Last month, the NYC Council approved legislation to add a 10 percent “COVID-19 recovery recovery charge” to a consumer’s total bill. Borelli says coronavirus epidemics have had a significant impact on city restaurants. They need extra help to get their businesses back on track.
Borelli said the cost would come 90 days after the restaurant’s capacity limit expires, and did not say whether they would maintain prices if they increased the price of their meals. “We have to keep those businesses in business. If they’re not in business, those thousands of people won’t get jobs.”
It is designed to use the extra money in restaurants that suffer under epidemic restrictions. But some owners and servers fear the surcharge could result in smaller dining tabs and tips. Gabby Acevedo reports from News 4.
Staten Island Republicans said they believe the extra money could be a lifeline used by the epidemic to support restaurant employees.
“Use it to add a surcharge to their kitchen staff, to add a surcharge to health care premiums or sick leave paid for their employees,” Borelli suggested.
By law, only small restaurants can apply a surcharge, which must be clearly stated on the caterer’s bill. Pushcarts, stands, vehicles or large chains are not included in the bill.
In a statement, the labor rights group opposed the bill, saying the proposed surcharge could hurt workers without guaranteeing a minimum wage to employees.
“If the City Council allows employers to add a surcharge, this employer will cut the already reduced customer tips of workers without paying their workers the full minimum wage, with no guarantee for restaurant workers who are recommended to receive any minimum wage.” Fair Wages President Saru Jayaram said.
Some restaurant owners are also questioning whether customers should be charged for eating more – which some are hesitant to do nonetheless – to really help them recover.
Scott Ginta, owner of Arturo Restaurant in Greenwich Village, said, “I think they’re taking people away from the restaurant instead of keeping them in business and doing more business by pulling people into the restaurant.” “(Consumers) don’t take their alcohol, they don’t take dessert. They’re just going home with the basics.”
Carol Ginta, the restaurant’s manager, said the bill could work against the servers, as the waiter staff would likely reduce their tips on the small dinner bill.
“Maybe customers will think‘ they’re getting 10 per cent, that’s part of the waiter’s service, ’he said.
Still sees some potential benefits.
“I’m not sure if it will help, but I think it’s a step in the right direction, because without funding they can get out of the long-term business,” said Spencer Kostrinsky, the restaurant’s customer. “As long as I already knew about it. If I had looked after the fact without knowing about it, it would have made me a little upset.”