Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Take a tip: By saying that the service charge is optional, the government might create problems for itself


Our government often rushes in where angels fear to tread. A case in point is its recent pronouncement that customers in restaurants needn’t pay the service charge – that many, if not most, such establishments add to the bill – if they feel that the service in question is not up to the mark.

This has created a toofan in a chai cup. The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has said that those who do not wish to pay the service charge – which generally is between five to 20 percent – are free to partronise some other place which does not impose such a levy.

The term ‘service charge’ is bureaucratese for the word ‘tip’, the baksheesh one gives to someone who performs a minor task for you, like bringing food to your table in a restaurant or carrying your luggage up to your hotel room.

According to popular lore, the word tip is an acronym which stands for To Insure Privilege. In other words, it’s a form of insurance you pay to make sure you are well looked after.

All of us pay tips to the government, except they’re not called tips but taxes. The various taxes which all of us have to pay are nothing but service charges that the government exacts from us.

For example, the road tax that you have to pay if you are the owner of a motor vehicle is what the government charges you for its service of providing you a road. But, more often than not, the road for which you have paid a tax, a service charge, is not a road at all but a series of potholes and craters, and is not a service at all but a dis-service.

Whether it’s bijli, pani, sadak, health care or education, the government rarely deserves the tips, or service charges, we give it in the form of taxes. So if the government says service charges are optional in restaurants, they should also be optional in the context of the sarkar.

If we feel that a sarkari service is not satisfactory – providing schools, hospitals, law and order, etc – we should not pay the service charge of taxes. In other words, we should take a tip: only pay Tax If Pleased.

Source: Times of India

Recommended for you