NEW YORK — Dining out in New York City is about to get even pricier.

The City Council passed legislation Wednesday temporarily authorizing restaurants to charge a Coronavirus recovery fee of up to 10 percent.

What You Need To Know

  • The City Council passed a bill allowing restaurants to add a COVID-19 recovery charge of up to 10%

  • The surcharge would expire 90 days after full indoor dining resumes

  • The fee would have to be clearly disclosed on menus and bills

  • Some Council members objected that the measure does nothing to help restaurant workers

The surcharge is intended to help offset losses suffered during the pandemic and to help keep the businesses afloat. 

It must be clearly disclosed on restaurant menus and bills, and will expire 90 days after full indoor dining resumes.

“When the cold weather comes, and if they’re not at 100 percent capacity, which I doubt they’ll be at, we need to think about a variety of ways to support them,” said City Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

“This will give restaurant owners an option, this will give restaurant owners a tool, and this will give, in my opinion, some patrons a little ease seeing that the charges that they might be paying are going to be temporary,” said the bill’s prime sponsor, Councilman Joe Borelli of Staten Island.

Some Council members and worker advocates objected to the bill because it provides no benefit to struggling restaurant workers. Restaurant owners can put the revenue toward any aspect of their operating costs.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance, the city's leading industry group, praised the move.

“The passage of the COVID-19 recovery bill will help struggling restaurants generate additional revenue to help pay for expenses like PPE for their employees, outdoor dining setups, rent, labor and other expenses to give them a fighting chance of survival,” said the group's executive director, Andrew Rigie.


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