New Delhi: Making service charge on restaurant bills optional may not be implemented swiftly as the Centre’s decision has been opposed by the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) which maintains that charging for service shouldn’t be included under “unfair trade practices”.

After fifty days of demonetisation where Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were declared as not legal tender by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, multiple sops on online transactions have been announced by the Centre to boost digital transactions.

However, if the service charge is made optional, this would entail for a debilitating effect on the restaurant employees. The NRAI have also said that customers were free not to eat at a restaurant if they did not wish to pay for the service charge.

This is what NRAI president Riyaaz Amlani had to say about the Centre’s move to clamp down on restaurants levying service charge: “The act stops us from indulging in any unfair method or deceptive practice. We clearly mention the service charge we levy on our menus. We are not indulging in any unfair trade practice. This is all part of a bill on which the restaurants pay VAT while the employees pay income tax. It also does away with cash tips.”

Many other restaurateurs have cried foul over the move and claimed that it is the levying of other additional taxes in the bill which should be made optional instead of the service charge.

One response to “You might have to dine at other places if you do not wish to pay the service charge”

  1. If you refer to sales tax/service tax case laws on restaurants one will understand that no service charge can be collected by the restaurants. Can a restaurant do sales without service. Service is integral to sale of food items in a restaurant. If they want they should go to court. There is no choice but it is illegal to charge extra.

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