he New York City Council on Wednesday passed a bill allowing restaurants to add COVID-19 surcharges of up to 10% onto a customer’s bill for up to 90 days after full-capacity indoor dining resumes.
The measure, meant to help boost a struggling industry, is fully voluntary, and was passed the same week that Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the city could resume indoor dining at 25% capacity on Sept. 30. The bill now goes to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio for his signature.
“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,” the New York City Hospitality Alliance said in a statement. “We commend the City Council for passing this important temporary legislation and urge Mayor de Blasio to sign it into law immediately.”
If the bill passes the mayor’s desk, restaurants that choose to implement the surcharge will have to make it explicitly clear before a customer places an order by informing customers of the charge on the bottom of each menu page and only labeling it as a COVID-19 surcharge.