N.Y. restaurants add political surcharges to cope with higher wages

black wallet dollar bills

Sharing their opposition to a recent wage increase for tipped workers, some New York restaurants have added politically charged line-items to customer bills, the Democrat & Chronicle reports.

Rather than raise menu prices to help cover the $2.50 per hour increase, Back Nine Grill in Pittsford, N.Y., added a 3 percent surcharge, which it dubs the “NYS Coumo tax” on guest receipts.

“I guess what I do is blame [Gov.] Cuomo for signing the bill, so that is why I used his name,” Beau Aquilina, owner of Back Nine Grill, told the Democrat & Chronicle. “We spelled his name wrong purposefully. We know that.”

While a few customers have refused to pay the charge, the “majority of them are OK with it,” Aquilina said.

Gov. Cuomo has led several recent efforts to increase wages for New York’s foodservice employees. Last year, he told all state restaurant workers that he intended to elevate their wages to $15 an hour, after spearheading a charge to increase fast-food wages in the state to that level.

Read the full story via the Democrat & Chronicle.


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