New Yorkers enjoy dining out, but they are becoming increasingly irritated by a CCP Virus surtax that can add up to 10% to the final cost.
The surcharge, which Mayor Bill de Blasio approved in October, was enacted to aid restaurants in the Big Apple fight against the disease outbreak. However, many New Yorkers claim they’re just now seeing it added onto their invoices as restaurants with increased outdoor area begin to fill up like it was in 2019.
“My colleagues and I were just talking about COVID charges. It’s a hot topic,” Yovanka Bylander, an employee from a financial consulting company.
“I noticed it when I was out recently,” she said. “We all want to help, but restaurants have to be transparent about it.”
Businesses must inform customers in advance if a surcharge is applied. Often some do with a menu note, but diners complain it is always missed before the bill comes.
When he was lately hit with a 5% surcharge at Serafina, a Tribeca citizen and the COO of a tech company was taken aback. Customers are informed of the service charge orally when they buy, according to a Serafina source.
According to city leaders, there are presently no proposals to eliminate the vexing surcharge.
Clinton Hall’s Aristotle “Telly” Hatzigeorgiou said the city’s revival has persuaded him to eliminate the 10% surcharge beginning Friday, May 14.
“Our hope is that this relaxation of the stringent rules will bring out diners,” he claimed. “And we want to reward those diners by eliminating the 10 percent charge that helped us get through the additional expenses to keep our staff and customers safe.”
Customers in 29 states have submitted 510 reports of coronavirus-related surcharges at dentist offices, assisted living facilities, barber shops, and restaurants to attorney general offices and financial departments in 52 states and regions, according to a report by The Washington Post.
Consumers have every right to worry about added charges, particularly for financially disadvantaged Americans or elderly people without a lot of money, but not every state defends them.
Although medical insurance legislation in some states expects health-care providers to repay patients who have been overcharged for safety equipment, other states require employers to add on additional costs as long as they are reported in advance.
In August, for example, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) issued a cease-and-desist letter to 11 senior care centers after 45 citizens complained of being asked to pay $900 in “supplemental COVID-19 fees.”
“This pandemic has caused financial strain for many people and businesses in Michigan, but that does not provide companies with the right to impose unauthorized costs on their customers and clients. Epecially those in our senior communities and others who are already living on a fixed income,” Nessel stated.
Government officials in New York, Connecticut, Arizona, Michigan, and Massachusetts released guidelines advising people about secret costs and companies and insurers about the implications of breaking consumer rights and insurance laws at the beginning of August.
Coronavirus payments are a way for the service business to cover the rising costs of working under ownership limits.
Many restaurants have spent more money when reopening than they did when shut down. That may explain why some might feel compelled to get innovative to get more cash. According to Sean Kennedy, vice president of public relations for the National Restaurant Association, methods such as offering cocktails-to-go, raising menu costs, selling groceries, and, indeed, adding additional charges are some of the ways restaurants use to glean more money from their customers.
“A lot of fixed expenses didn’t change,” Kennedy claimed. “Rent didn’t change. Utilities, insurance. Those were all things that still had to be paid even as no customers were coming in the door.”