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Why New York Eating places May Increase Their Costs This Yr

Why New York Eating places May Increase Their Costs This Yr

Eating out in New York City is about to get even more expensive.

The price of a restaurant meal is set to rise in 2024 thanks to several factors that affect how much an establishment chooses to charge its customers, Eater NY reported on Wednesday. This is the case even though costs have been skyrocketing over the past few years due to pandemic-era issues such as increased rents, bottlenecks in the supply chain, and labor shortages.

Those staffing problems will continue into the new year, combining with higher minimum wages to influence restaurant prices. The minimum wage has risen in N.Y.C., New York State, and New Jersey, with the city requiring $16 an hour. (It will jump to $17 an hour by 2026.) Many restaurants, though, use a system of tipped minimum wages, in which an employee’s paycheck and tips must add up to the total. That wage has increased by $1 this year, and if the minimum cash wage plus tips doesn’t equal the state minimum wage, restaurants will have to pay employees the difference.

“People should get paid more,” Cedric Nicaise, the co-owner of the Noortwyck, told Eater. “It will absolutely affect our restaurant.”

Another big issue as of late has been credit-card fees: Banks that issue Mastercard and Visa charge fees when those cards are swiped, and the National Restaurant Association has said those costs are one of the highest expenses for restaurants, Eater noted. On top of that, payment platforms such as Square also charge fees for transactions, with the company taking 2.6 percent plus 10 cents for every person who pays with a card and 2.9 percent plus 30 cents for every online order. To absorb those prices, some restaurants add fees to checks when a customer pays with a credit card. And if costs are going up, so might those fees.

While these two trends are influencing restaurants across the country, New York has one unique factor that will come into play this year: congestion pricing. To cut down on cars and traffic in Manhattan and to raise money for mass-transit improvements, the city is getting ready to charge cars coming into the borough. That means you could be paying more for a ride into the city to eat at a restaurant, and service workers may have to pay just to get to their job.

“Although we like the idea of less cars, pollution, and traffic in Midtown where we operate our restaurants for the past 15 years, we also think the timing of this is not ideal,” Brian Owens, a partner in Crave Fishbar, told Eater. “At a time where we are still trying to get people back into the city, this mandate will do the opposite for us.”

It’s been a tough few years for restaurants, and 2024 doesn’t sound like it’s going to be any easier.

Source: Robb Report

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