Capitol Notes

Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio sees ways New York can help restaurants

While New York restaurants have largely pinned their hopes of survival on a federal bailout, there are also ways the state government can provide relief to the industry, according to renowned chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio.

“There’s a lot of stuff New York can do,” the “Top Chef” judge told The Capitol Pressroom on Tuesday.

Colicchio said that restaurant owners are hoping to have their “personal guarantees” taken off leases and contracts with suppliers, want to see a streamlined process for re-opening sidewalk seating, changes to taxes paid for rehiring employees and a deferment of sales tax payments.

He did not think it was necessary to adopt legislation from Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal that would prohibit third-party delivery services like Grubhub and Doordash from charging fees to restaurants during the pandemic.

“I’d rather limit what they can do, not completely cut their legs out from underneath them,” Colicchio said. “I think limiting (their fees) to 10 percent might be a good idea.”

Colicchio co-founded the Independent Restaurant Coalition to lobby the federal government, but noted that he is also a member of Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants NY (ROAR NY), which is focused on state issues.

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