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COVID-19 Surcharge: New Fee in Effect on Some Restaurant Bills

COVID-19 Surcharge: New Fee in Effect on Some Restaurant Bills


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The fee is to cover losses caused by the pandemic

ALEX EDELMAN/AFP via Getty Images

The next time you go out to eat, your meal might end up costing you more than usual. As businesses continue to reopen around the country, some restaurants are hitting customers with a COVID-19 surcharge on each check to make up a fraction of the monetary loss caused by coronavirus closures. For size, the restaurant industry was projected to lose an estimated $240 billion in sales by the end of this year.

So, just how much is this charge? It’s different everywhere. According to Restaurant Business Magazine, Chicago-based Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises added a 4% fee to delivery and takeout orders at all of its restaurants. However, the fee can be refunded by any customer who requests it.

“The fees are a necessary step during a time when unanticipated costs have jeopardized the survival of our business,” LEYE president R.J. Melman said in a statement, the Chicago Tribune reported. Melman cited PPE for employees and “the greatest increase in food pricing since 1974,” as added expenditures caused by the pandemic.

In other parts of the country, Original Pancake locations have added a 15% “service fee” separate from the tip, and a pub in Holland, Michigan, added a $1 charge.

Some people aren’t taking kindly to the new tax, though. Kiko Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi in West Plains, Missouri, implemented a $2.19 surcharge that has since been removed over customer backlash. Instead, it was replaced by higher menu prices, the Miami Herald reported.

Similarly, Harold’s Chicken on Broadway in Chicago got rid of and apologized on Facebook for its 26% COVID-19 fee in mid-May because the phone was ringing off the hook with customer complaints. Manager Jacquelyn Santana told a local station that the surcharge was meant to make up for the 26% increase in supply costs.

A potential COVID-19 surcharge is just one of many ways the post-coronavirus dining experience may differ. Not all states are allowing eateries to open just yet, though. Here's a breakdown of where restaurants are open for dine-in and what new precautions have been taken to slow the virus's spread.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.


The Weekend Has Arrived. And So Has a New COVID-19 Surcharge if You're Dining Out.

NEW YORK - A new law will allow restaurants and bars around the city to impose a COVID-19 recovery charge to customers to help with their bottom line.

That new law takes effect Friday.

City establishments can add a fee of up to 10 percent if they choose to do so.

The City Council passed the bill last month that gives restaurants the option.

The surcharge is subject to sales tax.

It is not a tip and may be imposed on indoor and outdoor only - not takeout or delivery or banquets.

The new charge must be clearly disclosed on the menu and the bill.

For restaurants like Good Enough To Eat, which has been a brunch mainstay on the Upper West Side for decades, the surcharge is welcome news.

"To pay more of the staff, more food and beverage and hopefully get a deal to give the landlords a few dollars and make them happy," said manager Jeremy Wladis.

Wladis told us that since the pandemic erupted he hasn’t been able to pay much rent for this spot or the two other restaurants he manages.

“We’re just building on debts upon debts beyond debts," said Wladis. "All we’re doing is staying alive to keep the team alive and keep the restaurants alive for now.”

They went from 120 employees across the three restaurants to almost none now they’re back up to 60.

Some New Yorkers told us the new law will not deter them from dining out.

"No it wouldn't stop me from going in. I think that restaurants are having s really hard time so I think it's fair they get a little help," said one New Yorker.

"I think we have to figure out some way of figuring out the bill. Ten percent of a $40 bill is only gonna be $4. It's not gonna be a killer. So, unfortunately it's what we gotta do to make sure our restaurant entrepreneurs survive," said another New Yorker.

The money can be used to help a restaurant or bar sustain itself.

It can also be used to help pay for personal protective equipment.

This option is on the table until the law allows bars and restaurants to operate at 100 percent capacity.



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