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Palo Alto extends 'Summer Streets' program until winter to promote outdoor dining

Original post made on Aug 11, 2020

Seeking to provide a lifeline to businesses and further enhance the city's outdoor dining program, the City Council has agreed to keep University and California avenues closed to cars through Dec. 31.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 11, 2020, 9:53 AM

Comments (4)

11 people like this
Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 11, 2020 at 1:15 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

"Mayor Adrian Fine proposed moving beyond street closures and considering broader efforts, such as allowing businesses to place a "COVID surcharge" on their bills.

"Given the tenor and generosity of our community, I think a lot of Palo Altans will be happy to pay an extra 2% or 5% or 10% to local businesses to keep them afloat," Fine said."

So glad Mr. Fine's still here, spending our money! As if we don't already know how to tip directly and be generous without his help since it's not clear WHERE that surcharge will go.

"In addition, the council asked staff to consider creating a "COVID surcharge" that restaurants and retailers can tack on to their bills and formulate a plan for dealing with an expected rise in vacancies. This could include expanding the menu of permitted uses at retail locations."

What type of other uses are envisioned?

2 people like this
Posted by Restaurant owner
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 11, 2020 at 4:18 pm

Restaurant owner is a registered user.

Tips go directly to the employees.

This COVID surcharge would go to the operating restaurants. Believe it, the operating costs of running any service business during the pandemic have increased, not to mention the cost of some foods and supplies. The distribution channels are heavily impacted as well, making certain services more scare, and more expensive.

The health department recommends one person to be dedicated to make sure all the new rules are followed by the staff and patrons. All employees also have a lot more to do during these times.

Some restaurants have resorted to increasing pricing; but others could do with a COVID charge, if it's a temporary. It makes sense.

5 people like this
Posted by chris
a resident of University South
on Aug 11, 2020 at 6:43 pm

chris is a registered user.

A COVID surcharge is a silly gimmick. Sophisticated Palo Altans can see right through that. Restaurants can charge whatever they want, whiteout adding an extraneous line.

1 person likes this
Posted by CGPA
a resident of Downtown North
on Aug 12, 2020 at 2:25 pm

CGPA is a registered user.

Think of a Covid Surcharge as a delightful surprise, like a free dessert at the end of your meal. Except instead of getting something for free, you get an unexpected surprise additional charge. I can think of nothing I'd like more than to see a price on a menu, only to be told that it was a ruse to get me to dine there and the real price was higher, only after the bill comes. I'd never go to another downtown restaurant if this lame idea was implemented.

Not that many are going. Restaurants with 30 tables indoors barely fill up 4 tables on any given night. They are not going to survive on this. Note the clever wording of the article: business is "up 30% from before," when it was only 10% of what they needed to survive, so now it's 13%. These business owners are losing their shirts. No one should think this program is doing much of anything. It was a nice try but it's barely made a difference.

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