Mandatory for hotels to display boards saying service charge is voluntary
Restaurants in Karnataka will soon have a display boards saying service charge would be voluntary. This announcement was made by Food and Civil Supplies Minister, U T Khader. He said that the display boards would be mandatory and the restaurants cannot add service charge in the bill later.
The state of Karnataka was acting upon the guidelines issued by the centre which had made service charge voluntary. The centre said that service charge a term used by hotels for tips must be voluntary. The customer will have the right to reject the service charge, the centre had also said.
Khader said that he would be holding a meeting with the hotel owners' association and would issue a notification soon. Hotels and restaurants cannot deny entry to customers who are unwilling to pay the service charge. If the norm is not followed, then the consumer court can be approached.
To ensure that hotels do not violate the rules and customers are not troubled, food inspectors and the legal metrology officials will conduct inspections at regular intervals. Hotels collect anything between 6 and 8 per cent of the bill as service charge.
The Centre had issued an advisory to all states, including Karnataka, to educate people on the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act of 1986.