Service charge

Food service charges: Aren’t restaurants supposed to charge them?

Pawan Soni, Food Writer & Founder – Indian Food Freak and The Big F Awards sums up this debate with a plausible solution: “Restaurants are all entitled to charge something that is prominently mentioned on their menu. Thus, when someone orders a dish, he knows in advance all the charges he will have to bear. Unless the service is truly sad and undeserving of recognition, customers should pay for it.

That said, I think when as a consumer we buy everything on MRP like fuel, medicine, appliances, etc. why should eating in a restaurant be any different.

As a customer, it is quite annoying to see an invoice with a high amount of tax added to the price of the food actually consumed. Although customers and the government believe that a service charge replaces tipping and that it should be a voluntary charge, this debate has been going on for 5 years. Therefore, making all taxes part of the maximum retail price will settle any debates. In this case, the restaurant can build for a service fee in the MRP and no one will refute the fee.

So to sum up my opinion, restaurants do have the right to charge a service charge but if the rule is made such that the food price quoted is all-inclusive, it will eliminate any element of surprise for the customer and will avoid these constant discords with regard to what to pay and what not to pay.”

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