oppn parties Why Service Charge for Bad Service?

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  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
  • Shiv Sena not to attend the NDA meeting on 17th November, says break up "a formality"
  • Shiv Sena says that the confidence the BJP is showing about forming the government in Maharashtra is based purely on its expectation of getting numbers through horse trading
  • Anil Ambani resigns as director of the bankrupt Reliance Communications
  • India beat Bangladesh by an innings and 150 rums inside three days in the first Test. Indian pacers excel after Mayank Agarwal's double century
  • Sena-NCP-Congress work out a common minimum programme, will form the government soon and it will last 5 years, says Sharad Pawar
  • Income Tax Appellate Tribunal upholds the decision to withdraw the charitable status of Young India, making it liable to pay Rs 145 in income tax. Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Vadra are the majority shareholders in the company
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
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Why Service Charge for Bad Service?

By admin

About the Author

Sunil Garodia By our team of in-house writers.
People are talking about restaurant bills now. With the government saying that the service charge (as distinct from service tax, which has to be paid mandatorily) component should be optional – that a customer should pay only if he or she gets service of an expected quality, otherwise they can ask the eatery to revise the bill, the people have started talking about their horrible experiences in renowned restaurants where they were forced to pay 20% service charge on food bills despite getting atrocious service. Trade bodies of restaurants have retorted by saying that they will continue with the service charge and have haughtily added that patrons are welcome not to visit if they do not wish to pay the same.

Restaurants add various charges on their bills. One such is establishment charges. Taking the plea that they are providing diners with plush seating, lavish décor and air-conditioning, eateries charge a premium of anywhere between 200 to 500 percent on bottled water and branded soft drinks on the maximum retail price. If one carries one’s own drinking water, many times eateries do not provide empty glasses for the same. People have long resented this.

Logic provides that if a business is being run as a sit-down fine dining place, the price of food must cover all overheads the entrepreneur incurs. If dishes are priced upwards of Rs 350 for a portion, the waiter who serves the dishes must get his salary from that. Levying additional charges is abominable. Restaurants are already talking about how prices will be upwardly revised if they are not allowed to charge for service.

But keeping the service charge component optional is sure to start many ugly fights in restaurants. The best way would be for eateries to prominently display a board saying “this restaurant levies XX% service charge on its bill” and leave it to the diner whether he wishes to eat there or not. The same message should be prominently printed on all pages of the menu instead of being relegated to a small, 7 point line at the bottom. Many patrons end up leaving tips even after paying service charge in the bill as they do not know they have been charged separately for the service.