Hotels can't bill service charge
New Delhi: The government on Friday sent guidelines to all states saying that service charges in hotels and restaurants were “totally voluntary” and not mandatory.
This essentially means that the prices listed in the menu includes the service charge component, and any amount to be paid over and above the bill is totally voluntary on the part of the consumer.
It’s now completely up to a restaurant patron to decide how much he/she wants to pay as a tip depending on satisfaction levels over the quality of service provided. Restaurants and hotels can no longer impose a service charge as a part of the bill.
“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 the customer,” food and consumer affairs minister Ram Vilas Paswan tweeted.
The minister said the government has approved the guidelines on service charges and these were being sent to the states for necessary action at their end. “As per the guidelines, the service charge is totally voluntary and not mandatory. The government has approved the guidelines on service charges,” he said.