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Restaurant COVID-19 Surcharge Bill Passed

Restaurant COVID-19 Surcharge Bill Passed

On September 16, 2020, the New York City Council passed a temporary law allowing food service establishments to impose a surcharge for on-premise dining in order to provide financial relief to restaurants dealing with the various expenses related to operating during the pandemic. The law will become effective immediately upon Mayor De Blasio’s signature.

Under the law, restaurants may impose a surcharge of up to ten percent (10%) of the consumer’s total bill for on-premises dining. No surcharge may be applied to take-out or delivery orders. Restaurants will be able to take advantage of this surcharge until ninety (90) days after they may operate at maximum indoor capacity.

In order the impose the surcharge, Restaurants must:

  • Label the surcharge as “COVID-19 Recovery Charge”.
  • Disclose the amount of the surcharge at the bottom of each menu page supplied to the consumer before any item is ordered in English, as well as any other language used in the document, and in a font size similar to surrounding text; if no menus are used, the disclosure must be placed wherever food and beverage choices are listed.
  • Make explicit that the COVID-19 Recovery Charge is a surcharge, not a gratuity that will be paid to employees.
  • Provide the surcharge amount and total dollar amount attributable to the surcharge on a final consumer bill or receipt.

Please contact the MSF’s Hotel & Hospitality Group if you need assistance with respect to this information.

Christy Reuter
Christy L. Reuter
Partner | Chair, Hotel & Hospitality
(646) 755-3174 | clr@msf-law.com


Gregg M. Kligman
Counsel | Employment
646.273.8209 | gmk@msf-law.com