New York City diners may soon see a Covid-19 surcharge on their bills as the restaurant industry continues to hobble amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The New York City Council passed a bill Wednesday 46-2 that would allow restaurants to charge as much as 10% on customers dining indoors or outdoors in order to help cover restaurants’ Covid-19 expenses.
Termed the “COVID-19 Recovery Charge,” the surcharge does not include any tax to be paid, nor applies to delivery or takeout orders. A restaurant implementing the surcharge is free to use the new funds however they like, though must also make it clear that the surcharge is not a substitute for a tip or gratuity for waitstaff.
Republican city councilman Joseph Borelli, the bill’s prime sponsor, told CNN that the new option will help owners who don’t want to go through the trouble of raising prices on their menus.
“New York was actually the only city that we knew of that actually had a ban, a 45-year-old law made when the Department of Consumer Affairs essentially reorganized, and it prevented restaurants, the only industry in New York City, from applying a surcharge,” he explained.