NYC Council Approves Optional 10% Restaurant Surcharge Fee

NEW YORK -
new york restaurants de blasio
A restaurant with outdoor dining in Manhattan. (Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

The New York City Council passed a bill Wednesday to approve a surcharge bill that many restaurant owners have been proposing for years.

The initiative is happening following a recent national survey by Yelp that determined 60% of restaurants that closed because of COVID-19 closed for good. That is something city officials are hoping to prevent happening more.

Previous rules prohibited restaurants from charging fees other than listed food and drink prices.

The so-called COVID-19 Recovery Charge is meant to help restaurants struggling to survive amid coronavirus restrictions and indoor capacity limits.

Indoor dining in New York City is set to resume at 25% capacity on Sept. 30.

The surcharge is not mandatory and restaurants who choose to use it must disclose the additional cost on menus and receipts.

The COVID-19 Recovery Charge is also temporary. The bill, approved in a 46-2 vote, mandates that it expire 90 days after indoor dining resumes at full capacity.

Mayor Bill de Blasio needs to sign the bill into law before restaurants can take advantage of the surcharge.