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Big Apple restaurants are at a tipping point.
With record hikes in wages over the past couple of years — on top of rising rent, food and other costs — restaurant owners pressed City Hall lawmakers to allow them to levy a surcharge on all diners to cover their bloated expenses.
Surcharge - Percent - Percent - Owners - Business
Without the surcharge, which could range from 3 percent to 5 percent, or more, many owners said they will go out of business.
A group representing more than 100 restaurateurs — including Nobu, Tao, Smith & Wollensky, Tribeca Grill and Daniel — drafted a giant letter that was displayed on the steps of City Hall Wednesday. The group claims to have weathered nine mandated wage increases over the past several years. Next up: a minimum wage hike in 2019, to $15.
Option - Surcharge - Revenue - Group - Letter
“Allow us the option of using a clearly disclosed surcharge to generate the revenue to simply survive,” the group said in an open letter to Mayor de Blasio.
The Big Apple is the only place in the US that bans such a fee.
Restaurants - City - Regulator - Department - Consumer
Restaurants have been lobbying their direct city regulator — the Department of Consumer Affairs, which bars such a surcharge — for the past two years to no avail.
The issue is reaching a new urgency now because Gov. Cuomo is...
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