New York’s restaurants offer Outdoor seating and limited indoor restaurantsBut starting today there’s another boost to help companies stay afloat: You can now take legal action against a Surcharge on your bill.
The city council recently passed a law on this “claw back fee” that allows restaurants to add up to 10% more to their total bill (the additional fee cannot be used as a tip for employees). It is designed to help restaurants cover the cost of PPE, rent, and outdoor furnishings. Once indoor dining is full again, restaurants can hold the supplement for up to 90 days.
However, it is still unclear whether and how restaurants will introduce the surcharge or how guests will react.
In a Twitter poll by Time out New YorkJust over half of voters said they were paying more to help restaurants cope with the current crisis.
Hey New Yorkers – would you pay more in restaurants to help them in the current crisis?
– Time Out New York (@TimeOutNewYork) September 16, 2020
Diners will not find a surcharge on their bill JamesAccording to Deborah Williamson, the founder of Prospect Heights restaurant in Brooklyn.
“While this may be great for the industry, every restaurant has to grapple with the nuances of how they work and the community they have, ”says Williamson, who opened James about 12 years ago. “I have a feeling that having so much of our business come from regulars in the neighborhood would get in our way.”
One of the main criticisms of the surcharge is that if guests are confused on a bill or feel that they should tip less with the additional fees, it could tip the servers away.
Others see the supplement only as a first step to help the catering industry.
“We need to support the New York restaurant industry in this unprecedented crisis, but we cannot just focus on restaurant owners at the expense of restaurant workers,” said Saru Jayaraman, president of One Fair Wage, a national organization representing service workers in a statement .
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