Restaurant owners oppose CCPA service charge guidelines, calling them ‘illegal’ – Reuters

By Express press service

NEW DELHI: Several restaurant and bar owners in Delhi on Monday objected to Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) guidelines banning them from levying service charges automatically or by default on food bills, saying it is “completely illegal and baseless”.

The restaurant owners claimed that the service charge was not collected discreetly as it is also mentioned on the menu and the bill. The CCPA released guidelines on Monday to prevent unfair business practices and the violation of consumer rights with respect to the collection of service fees.

“No hotel or restaurant should add a service charge automatically or by default to the bill,” the CCPA said in the guidelines. There should be no collection of service fees under any other name, he added.
Slamming the guidelines, Manpreet Singh, treasurer of the National Restaurants Association of India (NRAI), said the government could not tell bar and restaurant owners how to run their businesses.

He claimed that customers are informed in advance of the service charge and that it is mentioned on the menu. Brochures and posters are also usually displayed in restaurants, Singh said.

Priyank Sukhija, promoter of First Fiddle Restaurants, which operates bars and fine dining restaurants such as Lord of the Drinks and Tamasha, said the guidelines issued by the CCPA had no merit. “There is no basis to what they are saying. It is completely against the law. It is just a guideline, and if necessary we will fight it,” he said.

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