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NYC Restaurants and Bars Can Now Add a 10 Percent COVID Surcharge to Bills

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Plus, P.F. Chang’s opens its first location in NYC — and more intel

A person wears a protective face mask while dining outside Murray Hill Diner as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 22, 2020 in New York City. Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

Restaurants and bars can now start charging diners a pandemic surcharge

Following City Council approval last month, NYC restaurants and bars can now start adding a surcharge of up to 10 percent to diners’ bills during the pandemic. The new regulation went into effect last Saturday, NY1 reports.

The surcharge — which is separate from service tips, and is applied before sales tax on checks — could bring in extra revenue for restaurants and bars that are struggling to stay in operation while the city limits dining room capacity for public health safety. But the new allowance is a controversial measure among owners. Some vowed that they wouldn’t apply a surcharge because it might drive away their customer base, while others welcomed the ability to add an extra charge to cover PPE and sanitation costs without raising menu prices.

The new regulation will remain in place until 90 days after restaurants and bars return to full indoor dining capacity.

In other news

— NYC’s first location of Asian chain restaurant P.F. Chang’s has arrived, Time Out New York reports. Located in Times Square, the restaurant is one of the company’s brand new to-go only spots. Future locations of the chain are planned for Midtown East, Murray Hill, and the Seaport District in the coming months.

— Nonprofit culinary center Hot Bread Kitchen kicks off a virtual entrepreneurship forum starting today and running through Thursday with daily programming from local small business owners, including a cooking class run by Fauzia Abdur-Rahman, the force behind popular Jamaican street food spot Fauzia’s Heavenly Delights in the Bronx. Donation-based tickets are available and priced on a sliding scale.

— Mott Haven middle school teachers Daniel Zauderer and Charlotte Alvarez launched the neighborhood’s first community fridge over the weekend.

— Maison Yaki is keeping it close to home for its last featured chef in its months-long Black Entrepreneur Series. Chris Weathered, a former staffer at both Maison Yaki and Olmsted, is running a pop up called Ena’s Eats by Appetizing Events. Weathered explored his Columbian, Italian, and Antiguan heritage for the menu, which includes items like a jerk chicken sandwich, curried coleslaw, and codfish fritters. The pop up runs through Sunday, October 25.

— Momofuku’s famed roast duck ssäm dinner is now available as an at-home cooking kit through Baldor.

— Upside Pizza — the fancier Midtown pizza spot from the owners of local dollar-slice chain 2 Bros. — is expanding into Pomodoro Pizzeria’s old spot in Little Italy.

— Top-notch eating energy:

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Ssam time!

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