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New York restaurants may add 10% COVID-19 recovery fee to customer bills

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New New York City Council Bill Could Help Restaurants – but at a price for the guests.

Council on Wednesday approved a law that allows restaurants to add a “COVID-19 recovery charge” to a customer’s bill, provided the charge is “clearly stated” on the menu and bill.

According to law, charges can only represent 10% of the customer’s total bill.

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Restaurants in New York City have been hit particularly hard by the coronavirus pandemic, starting with the statewide lockdown and restrictions on in-person dining.

Even now, restaurants in town are only allowed to serve food outside. Starting September 30, restaurants will be allowed to offer indoor dining, but only at a 25% capacity.

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One wonders if a 25% capacity for indoor dining will be enough to really help struggling restaurants stay afloat financially.

“I know it will be fine, however, 25% for much smaller restaurants will not reduce the bill, not when you have to pay for those impending commercial buildings in New York”, Tren’ness Woods-Black, vice president of communications from Sylvia, told FOX Business’s Maria Bartiromo on Monday.

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The new law, sponsored by Staten Island Council member Joe Borelli, hopes to help restaurants a bit more.

Previously, restaurants were not allowed to add additional fees to offset losses from coronavirus, “even though this supplement is clearly disclosed,” the NYC Council website said.

Now restaurants have the option of including the 10% charge, effective immediately.

“The city’s restaurant and hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard during the pandemic, with many barely able to survive on alfresco or take-out meals,” the council said. Release said. “Even when indoor dining resumes, restaurants will still operate below capacity and will need to be able to charge reasonable catering costs to stay afloat.”

According to NBC New York, the bill only allows small restaurants to add collection fees to their customers’ bills – this does not include “strollers, stands, vehicles or large chains”.

Eligible restaurants are not required to include fees, according to the city council statement.

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The COVID-19 relief charge will only last “up to 90 days after full meals indoors are allowed again,” the bill says.

After this period, restaurants will no longer be allowed to charge customers the additional 10%.

“This bill will give restaurants the freedom they need to increase their revenues to cover the rapidly rising labor and compliance costs and keep them in business,” Borelli said in a statement. declaration.

“New York restaurants have been crushed by the massive increase in costs over the past five years and their options for increasing their income have narrowed,” Borelli added. “This new policy stems from the impact of COVID-19 on our city, but I fully intend to make this change permanent.”

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