Dining out? Service Charges in Restaurants Not Mandatory, Says Govt

Service charges at restaurants and hotels, which usually ranges between 5 and 20%, is only optional and not mandatory even if it’s included in the bill, according to a notification from the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution.

That means you can refuse to pay the amount if you are unhappy with the service. The ministry said this was being done, as it had received complaints from customers who said they were being forced to pay tips in the name of service charges, “irrespective of the kind of service provided”.

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