According to the Kolkata Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, restaurants cannot impose a restaurant service charge on a client forcefully. The Commission recently ordered a restaurant to repay the restaurant service charge is received from a customer together with a compensation amount.
According to the Central Government’s Fair Trade Practice Guidelines, including a restaurant service charge on a restaurant bill is wholly discretionary and not required, according to a Bench consisting of president Swapan Kumar Mahanty and member Ashok Kumar Ganguly. The Commission ruled that the restaurant’s insistence on the complaint paying the service charge was unlawful, malafide, and in breach of the law.
According to the complainant’s story, he and a handful of companions dined at Yauatcha Kolkata in late 2018. Despite his worries about paying the bill, which included a service fee, the manager reminded him that it was needed at their establishment.
To avoid a conflict, the complaint paid the money but afterwards presented the restaurant with a legal notice citing existing regulations and government norms and requested an apology and a 25,000 restitution.
When the complainant’s concern was not handled, he launched the present consumer lawsuit against the restaurant for illegally pocketing service charges. The Forum reasoned that the restaurant’s actions were in violation of the Consumer Protection Act and Ministry of Consumer Affairs regulations, noting that the complaint is a consumer under the former.