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.