Bengaluru: A series of tweets by Union Minister for Food and Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan has put the entire hotel industry and customers into confusion.
The Minister had said that service charge was voluntary and this might come as a relief to the consumer who finds restaurants and hotels slapping service charges in the bill.
Pradyumna, who frequents eateries, said, "Food courts in malls charge hefty service charges which I have never understood. In most cases it is self-service or buffets and the staff does not serve customers."
The whole idea behind service charge was to regulate tipping of waiters and other staff. But the public still remains confused over the issue.
Clearing the air, Subramanya Holla of Bruhat Bangalore Hotel Association Subramanya Holla said, "There was never any law regarding service charges. It has now been left to the discretion of restaurants. There is no cap on percentage, but I normally notice up to 10%."
If it exceeds that then it is up to the customer to avoid the restaurant.
Justifying the hoteliers' perspective, Charles Hayward, owner of Connie's restaurant said, "Service charge levied without clearly informing customers is wrong. Anything above 10% is ridiculous. There must be no concept of a luxury tax. Whether I eat from Taj or a bhelpuri vendor, the overall tax must remain the same," he added....