Service Charges in restaurants not mandatory, says Consumer Affairs Ministry

02 January, New Delhi

Government Monday said that the service charges in restaurants is optional. Consumer Affairs Ministry today said that consumer has discretion to pay service charge or not.

The clarification came following consumer complaints that hotels and restaurants are charging service charge in the range of 5 to 20 per cent, in lieu of tips. Following the complaint, the department of Consumer Affairs had called for clarification from the Hotel Association of India.

The association replied that the service charge is completely discretionary and can be waived off if a customer is dissatisfied with the dining experience.

The Department of Consumer Affairs has asked the state governments to advise the hotels and restaurants to display information that the service charges are voluntary and can be waived off.

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