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New York

Bill to require NY rest area restaurants to remain open seven days a week


A new bill in the New York State Assembly would require rest area restaurants to remain open seven days a week.

The bill to require seven day per week restaurant service was recently introduced by Assemblymember Tony Simone. It would affect restaurants and food service located within the New York State Thruway system, and popular fast food chain Chik-fil-A in particular.

The New York State Thruway’s rest areas are currently undergoing a $450 million upgrade and adding new restaurants. Seven of the Thruway rest area locations now contain a Chik-fil-A, with three more to be added, CBS 6 reports. Chik-fil-A’s company-wide policy calls for stores to be closed on Sundays, but the new legislation would challenge this policy at rest area locations.

Bill No. A08336 “requires that food services at transportation facilities and rest areas owned and operated by certain public authorities remain open seven days a week.”

From the bill:

This legislation will ensure that all future contracts for food concessions at transportation facilities owned by the Thruway Authority, as well as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, will be required to operate seven days a week, with an exclusion to temporary concessions such as farmers markets or local vendors.

While there is nothing objectionable about a fast food restaurant closing on a particular day of the week, service areas dedicated to travelers is an inappropriate location for such a restaurant. Publicly owned service areas should use their space to maximally benefit the public. Allowing for retail space to go unused one seventh of the week or more is a disservice and unnecessary inconvenience to travelers who rely on these service areas.


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