Yesterday, Senator Bill Dodd, D-Napa, introduced Senate Bill 1524 which would keep restaurant fees legal so long as they present additional fees “clearly and conspicuously.” This bill would amend Senate Bill 478, detailed here, set to take effect on July 1st. SB 478 seeks to eliminate the practice of “drip pricing” – i.e., advertising a price that is less than the actual price a consumer will have to pay for a good or service – through the use of so-called “junk fees” so the price a consumer sees is the price they pay.

To comply with SB 478, restaurant industry professionals were preparing to fold all additional charges, including mandatory surcharges and auto-gratuities, into menu pricing. However, if passed, the amendment in SB 1524 would allow many restaurants to keep their menus as-is, so long as those extra fees were “clearly and conspicuously” disclosed to consumers. The remainder of the law affecting most other businesses would remain in play.