The California Restaurant Association Responds to SB 478 Guidance and FAQ Released by California Attorney General’s Office
CRA objects to expansive interpretation of a new law that will disrupt restaurant operations throughout the state.


May 8, 2024
Contact: Megan Gamble ▪

SACRAMENTO, CA – In response to the FAQ on SB 478 (Dodd) released by California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s office today ahead of the July 1 implementation, the California Restaurant Association shares the following statement on behalf of more than 22,000 member restaurants small and large across the state.

“The FAQ released by the California Attorney General’s office today is a prime example of legislating through a press release. CRA strenuously disagrees with the AG’s expansive interpretation of the law to outlaw restaurant service fees,” said Matthew Sutton, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs + Public Policy.

Sutton added, “Courts have consistently concluded that service fees are permissible under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act as long as they are properly disclosed on restaurant menus. Nothing in the plain language of the bill or legislative debate suggested an intent to change the pricing structure for every restaurant in this state. The office’s interpretation of the law itself is the “bait-and-switch” – suggesting an interpretation of this new law that was never presented or debated in the legislature, which we believe is clearly inconsistent with the Legislature’s intent.”

“The FAQ’s exhibit a fundamental misunderstanding of the restaurant industry’s standard of transparent, up-front menu pricing, and we are considering all available options to block implementation of SB 478 in the manner suggested by the AG’s office.”