It could soon be more expensive to dine out in New York City.
Dozens of restaurants are asking Mayor Bill de Blasio to allow them to add a surcharge to customer bills. In an open letter, they said they need the extra money to keep up with rising costs.
“Our payrolls and rents have skyrocketed, which has had a catastrophic impact on our businesses and employees. If you want to support local restaurants and staff, allow us the option of using a clearly disclosed surcharge to generate the revenue to simply survive,” the letter said.
The restaurants said over the last three years, the tipped minimum wage has doubled while the regular minimum wage has increased 71 percent. They claimed the extra cost has forced establishments to lay off employees and cut the hours for others. They’ve also been forced to increase menu prices and have been prevented from opening new full-service restaurants in the city.
“We know these wage increases were not intended to have these consequences, but the full-service restaurants in NYC are now closing in unprecedented numbers, leaving vacant storefronts and limited service businesses that create fewer jobs and do not offer the renowned dining experiences that help draw millions of visitors to our city,” the letter said.
It’s unclear if Mayor de Blasio is willing to support the proposal.
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