Now restaurants cannot add service charges to your bill

Now restaurants cannot add service charges to your bill

The government has just made eating out cheaper by bringing your restaurant bill down.Now restaurants cannot add service charge to your bill along with taxes.

The government has issued an advisory to restaurants to remove levying service charges since they were not a tax but only a tip, according to Ram Vilas Paswan, Union Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Service charges made news in January this year when the Department of Consumer Affairs announced that the charges, which restaurants included in addition to taxes, were not mandatory. It said the customer could choose not to pay, if he was not satisfied with the service he received. The department cited complaints that hotels and restaurants were levying an additional 5% to 20% in bills in lieu of tips, regardless of the kind of service provided.

At that time, the department asked state governments to sensitize hotels and restaurants and advise them to display at appropriate places on their premises that service charges were discretionary or voluntary and could be waived if a consumer was dissatisfied with the services.

Many restaurants had reacted to this announcement by asserting that service charges were mandatory. The National Restaurants Association of India had also issued a statement implying that customers were free to not eat at a particular restaurant if they didn’t wish to pay the service charge. While welcoming the move to sensitise the customers on the charges, industry officials had objected to making
them discretionary

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