NYC Food & Beverage Hospitality Council and the 20% administration fee idea

I came across this piece of news from last month. From NY Post:

In response to the industry’s struggles, the city formed the NYC Food & Beverage Hospitality Council in September.

Its first orders of business are creating a new Web site that will help restaurant owners navigate regulations more easily, as well as a subsidized culinary apprenticeship program.

It is also exploring the possibility of allowing restaurants to add an administrative fee, as high as 20 percent, to bills, to offset rising costs, though just how such a fee would be implemented, if allowed, is still being decided.

What caught my eye was the 20% admin fee idea? I get that NYC is expensive and becoming more so, though I am a bit curious how that is different from just raising the menu prices? Maybe a little easier to add an official fee than to risk losing customers by raising prices when other restaurants may not be doing the same.

What are folks’ reaction to it?

Smacks of Taxation Without Representation to me.

I know what I want to spend on a meal. I don’t really care how that amount gets distributed - it could be a $24 entree or a $20 entree plus a 20% whatever fee. I’ve had to train myself to figure this out at service-included places, to keep from getting sticker shock.