Hospitality industry body FHRAI said on Friday that service charges imposed by restaurants are not illegal and that it is up to customers to decide whether they want to frequent these establishments or not.
Ahead of a June 2 meeting called by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs to discuss growing complaints that consumers are being forced to pay service charges, the Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) said that the service charge was a proposal from the restaurant. or establishment to potential customers.
“It is up to customers to decide whether they wish to patronize said restaurant or not… There is nothing illegal or a violation of law for restaurants to collect service charges,” the vice-president said. FHRAI President, Gurbaxish Singh Kohli. A declaration.
Arguing that it is a common and accepted practice in India as well as several other countries, the FHRAI said the service charge, “colloquially known as ‘tipping’, is the amount paid to restaurant or diner staff. ‘another similar establishment by his guest’. Information about the amount of the service charge is mentioned by the restaurants on their menu cards, so that customers are well aware of the charge before availing the services, he said.
FHRAI Honorary Joint Secretary Pradeep Shetty said if a guest objects to paying the service charge, they can be removed from the bill.
“This is common practice even among other service providers who charge a certain ‘convenience fee’ for providing services to customers. Services such as booking train and air tickets through websites or portals, food ordered through a website or mobile apps, or movie tickets booked through online portals all charge convenience on customers.
“But it’s sad to see constant requests from the hospitality industry on one topic or the other,” Shetty said.
FHRAI also said it has informed its members that in the event that they choose to collect a service charge on behalf of their staff by including it in the invoice presented to the customer, they must clearly indicate this on their menu itself so that the guest is well informed of the same.
Kohli said that if a customer mentions before the invoice that they don’t want to pay a service fee, they don’t get charged.