From this weekend, visitors to New York’s restaurants and bars could see the additional fee added to the final bill.
Now the city’s restaurants are allowed to add a fee for the restoration of COVID-19 to the dining room indoors or outdoors – takeaway and delivery orders are not excluded. Participating restaurants must clearly reflect any additional costs in their menu.
Last month, the New York City Council approved legislation that adds up to a 10 percent “COVID-19 Restoration Fee” to a customer’s total account. Counselor Joseph Borelli, who introduced the bill, says city restaurants have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and need extra help to rebuild the business.
“These costs will go down 90 days after restaurants are limited, while if they raise the price of food, you can̵7;t say whether they will support the price,” Borelli said. “We need these businesses to stay in business. If they don’t do business, those hundreds of thousands of people won’t have jobs.”
It is designed to send extra money to restaurants that suffer from pandemic restrictions. But some owners and the server fear that the surcharge may lead to fewer lunch tabs and tips. According to Gaby Acevedo News 4.
The Staten Island Republican said he believed the extra money could be a lifeline used to support restaurant staff through a pandemic.
“Use it to add a surcharge for kitchen staff, add a bonus to health care premiums or paid hospital fees for your employees,” Borelli suggested.
According to the law, only small restaurants can apply a surcharge, which must be clearly indicated in the snack bill. Trolleys, stands, vehicles or large chains are not included.
In its statement, the group for the protection of workers’ rights opposed the bill, saying that the proposed surcharge without guarantees of a minimum wage for workers could harm workers.
“If the city council allows employers to add a bonus without these employers paying their employees the full minimum wage, the bonus would run into already reduced consumer tips without any guarantee that restaurant workers receiving tips will receive the minimum wage.” “Fair wages” Sarah Jayaraman said.
Even some restaurant owners are questioning whether helping customers eat more food – which some are hesitant to do – will really help them recover.
“I think they’re stalking people from restaurants, instead of luring them and dragging them to restaurants to try to start more business,” said Scott Giunta, owner of Arturo’s restaurant in Greenwich Village. “(Customers) don’t take alcohol, they don’t take desserts. They just take the basics and go home.”
Carol Junta, the restaurant’s manager, said the bill could work against servers, as the waiter’s staff could potentially see their advice diminish on a smaller dinner bill.
“Customers may think, ‘They get 10 percent, that’s part of the waiter’s advice,” she said.
However, some see 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 could go out of business in the long run,” said Spencer Kosterinsky, a restaurant customer. “So far I knew about it in advance. If I saw it after the fact without knowing about it, it would upset me a little.”