On Monday, the Centre announced that service charge in restaurants and hotels will not be compulsory from now on. A customer has the right to waive off the applicable charges if s/he is not satisfied with the restaurant’s service.
Most citizens, especially the foodies in the city, are happy about the fact that they can do away without paying extra for the service provided, if it did not meet their expectations.
Divya Bhupathiraju, who works as an analyst in Deloitte, says, “I think making it optional is fair enough. Sometimes, it so happens that we have to pay even when the service was nowhere to ‘okay’.” Likewise, Avinash Matta, a social media strategist in Denary Media, thinks that the new policy is very apt. “Making it the customer’s choice will make the management improve their services, because when service charge is mandatory, restaurants tend to take their customers for granted,” he added.
Some restaurant managements are not really at peace with the government’s decision. Anudeep, owner of Rotis in Hitech city, says, “I am not happy with the move. And I doubt if this will really curb the issue because practically speaking, now that service charges are not compulsory, every restaurant will hike the food price.”
On the other hand, Amitesh Sharma, owner of Filmy Tadka, says that the government should actually discard service charges completely. “I believe that customers should willingly tip for the services provided,” Amitesh adds. Filmy Tadka is one among a few restaurants that does not charge their customers for their services.
While the country continues to debate on this new policy, many think that it may look beneficial for the customers on the surface, but when we take a closer many questions are being raised. And what if the customers end up paying double, while restaurants start to increase the food price for obvious reasons?
Let’s wait and watch the outcome over the next few days.
Service tax Vs Service charge:
Service tax is a tax levied by the government, which you have to pay for certain services we take. It is the end users, as in the customers, who have to pay it and it is mandatory.
Service charge, on the other hand, is more or less like a tip, which is offered to the restaurants’ services and is not charged by the government. The charge varies from 5-20 per cent of the bill and is independently charged by the restaurant.