The National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), the umbrella organization for Indian restaurants, will issue guidelines to its 5 lakh members requiring them to clearly state in all their establishments that they charge service charges on customer bills, menus, posters inside establishments, and tent cards on tables.
This is in line with Delhi High Court suspension guidelines issued by the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA), which prohibited hotels and restaurants from adding service charges to guest bills.
“We advise all NRAI members to declare up front that they are levying a service charge not only on the menu, as the Delhi High Court demanded today, but also on posters and cards about table service charges so that customers are fully aware before they place orders,” Riyaaz Amlani told ET, managing director of Impresario Handmade Restaurants, which runs Social and Smoke House Deli. .
We tell members that they are not allowed to add a service charge on takeout. Customers can make the situation worse if a restaurant fails to comply, according to Amlani, who called it bad practice.
Restaurants and motels are required by the CCPA to “clearly warn customers that service charges are voluntary, optional and at the discretion of consumers and that they cannot restrict admission or disallow services based on collection of service charges”.