Restaurants in the city are now allowed to add a COVID-19 recovery fee to dining inside or out – take-out and delivery orders are excluded. Participating restaurants must clearly display all additional charges on their menus.
Last month, the New York City Council approved legislation to add up to 10% “COVID-19 recovery fees” to a customer’s total bill. they need extra help to get their business back on track.
“This cost will decrease 90 days after the capacity limits of restaurants end, so if they increase the price of their meals, it is impossible to tell whether or not they will maintain the price,” Borelli said. “We need these companies to stay in business. If they are not, these hundreds of thousands of people will not have jobs ”.
It’s designed to funnel extra cash to restaurants with pandemic restrictions. But some owners and servers are concerned that the extra cost could result in smaller meal tabs and tips. News 4’s Gaby Acevedo reports.
The Staten Island Republican said he believes the extra money could be a lifeline used to support restaurant staff during the pandemic.
“Use it to add extra for their kitchen staff, to add extra for health care premiums or paid sick leave funds for their employees,” Borelli suggested.
According to the legislation, only small restaurants can apply the supplement, which must be clearly indicated on the restaurant bill. Strollers, racks, vehicles or large chains are not included in the invoice.
In a statement, a workers’ rights group opposed the bill, saying the proposed surtax without a guaranteed minimum wage for employees could hurt workers.
“If city council allows employers to add a surtax, without those employers paying their workers a full minimum wage, the surtax would reduce workers’ already reduced tips with no guarantee that tip restaurant workers receive the strict minimum wage. Fair compensation chairman Saru Jayaraman said.
Even some restaurateurs wonder if charging customers more for dining out – which some are reluctant to do anyway – will really help them recover.
“I think they are driving people out of restaurants, instead of luring them and luring them to restaurants to try and build more business,” said Scott Giunta, owner of Arturo’s restaurant in Greenwich Village. “(Customers) don’t take their alcohol, they don’t take their dessert. They’ll just grab the essentials and go home. ”
Carol Giunta, restaurant manager, said the bill could work against the waiters, as waiters could potentially see their tips decrease on a smaller dinner bill.
“Maybe customers will think, ‘They get 10 percent, that’s part of the server’s service tip,” she said.
Some still see the potential benefits.
“I don’t know if this will help, but I think it’s a step in the right direction because without the funding they could go bankrupt in the long run,” said Spencer Kosterinsky, a customer of the restaurant. “As long as I knew it in advance. If I saw him after the fact without knowing it, it would make me a little angry.