NEW DELHI: Restaurateurs have expressed their concern over the government’s move to come out with a legal framework to stop restaurants from levying service charge. Calling the proposal “unfortunate”, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) president Kabir Suri on Friday said it will “hurt the interests” of the staffers who work hard to serve customers.
Earlier in the day, Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Piyush Goyal had said that restaurants cannot add ‘service charge’ to the food bills, though customers are free to give “tips” if they so wish. On Thurday, Consumer Affairs secretary Rohit Kumar Singh had talked about the plan to come out with the legal framework.
The development prompted owners of restaurants, including NRAI, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) and consumer bodies, to hold a meeting. “I am a consumer myself, and service charges are meant for the staff who render services to guests.'
It is divided among all the serving staff at a restaurant, which they receive over and above their salaries. We as restaurant owners can add that component in the selling price and mark it up and charge from a consumer, but the staff won’t get anything,” Suri said.