Summary: In some cases, hoteliers are restraining customers from entering premises if they are not in ready to pay service charge. It is a separate transaction between customer and staff at the customer's discretion," explained a consumer activist. "It is only after the meal that the customer can assess quality of service and decide on tip or gratuity. Many incidents were reported from bars in the suburbs, Navi Mumbai and Thane, after which some hoteliers restrained consumers from entering if they disagreed about payment. Consumers can also pay a tip separately to staff, instead of offering service charge.Restaurateurs and hoteliers have decided to legally examine the guidelines and give a representation to the government.
MUMBAI: Restaurant owners and hoteliers here seem to be unhappy with the central government guideline suggesting they leave a 'blank space' in the bill for service charge , and leave the discretion of putting the amount and paying it with consumers, instead of printing it in advance. They did not say if they would implement it in toto from Saturday.The Centre has issued guidelines to hoteliers and restaurant/bar owners to clearly display that ''service charge is voluntary'' and the service charge column of the bill be left blank for customers to fill up before making payments as per their discretion. The consumer can approach consumer disputes redressal commissions in case of unfair/restrictive trade practices.
Consumers can also pay a tip separately to staff, instead of offering service charge.Restaurateurs and hoteliers have decided to legally examine the guidelines and give a representation to the government. "This is just the guideline or another advisory. Our initial reaction is that we will legally present our case to the ministry," said media advisor to Hotels and Restaurants Association, Western India (HRAWI) Pradeep Shetty.Adarsh Shetty, president of Ahar, an association of over 8,000 bars and restaurants, said they would take legal opinion.Customers have been paying tips to waiters in addition to service charges under the impression that service charge is a part of taxes.
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