On September 16, the City Council passed legislation that will allow restaurants and bars to charge a COVID-19 Recovery Charge. The law goes into effect on October 17, so restaurant and bar owners should be aware of its major requirements.
First, understand that restaurant and bar owners are not required to implement this charge - it's optional. If you own a restaurant or bar, it is entirely up to you as to whether you want to have it or not. Many restaurant and bar owners supported the legislation because having the option to impose a clearly disclosed surcharge on menu prices is common in the hospitality industry throughout the country, and other industries in New York. New York City is the only jurisdiction in the country where restaurant and bar owners are singled out by being prohibited from having this option. With the COVID-19 Recovery Charge, restaurant and bar owners are given an additional revenue raising tool that can help sustain operations and pay for new expenses such as PPE and outdoor dining structures. Many food and beverage businesses want a way to explain these new expenses to customers without raising menu prices.
Second, if you do decide to try out using the COVID-19 Recovery Charge, these are the rules:
As stated, the law will go into effect October 17 and remain in effect until 90 days after restaurants in New York City are permitted to operate at maximum indoor capacity again. We encourage you to review the text of the new law here.