No service charge in restaurants

The Centre wants States to ensure that all restaurants desist from collecting service charges from the customers.

 New Delhi: Good news to all those who love to eat outside often, as your bills are going to get lighter as Centre said that restaurants cannot force customers to pay a service charge. In a fresh set of guidelines to the State governments, the Centre said that the customer have the right to decide if they should pay extra. These guidelines, cleared by PMO, are being sent to State governments for implementation, said Union Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan.

He announced this move in a series of tweets. He tweeted that service charge is totally voluntary and not mandatory now. Hotels and Restaurants should not decide how much service charge is to be paid by the customer, and it should be left to the discretion of customer,” Paswan said.

Incidentally, this is the second advisory by the Centre to the State governments in five months. The  Centre wants States to reach out to hotels and restaurants to make sure that service charge is added to the bills of their customers. The Centre might also ask the States, to make sure a board saying that ‘Service Charge’ was voluntary be put up in all restaurants to let the customers know about it. The earlier attempts to make restaurants to give up charge were unsuccessful.

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