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Old 10th January 2011, 01:21   #76
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
I recently went to Nando's( Welcome to Nando's. The official worldwide home of Nando's famous Peri-Peri chicken.) for lunch.
The service was not upto the mark,i had to ask for water thrice,before anyone listened to our request.
and i paid 10% service tax apart from the 12.5% usual VAT.
i wonder for what did i pay the 10%
and off course,we left without paying any tip.
I feel you akshay and reading some of the comments here, there is not much we can do about this malaise. This comes from "phoren", some of these blokes have been there and feel it should be the same just as we wear jeans. The sad difference is that there is neither the quality nor the same respect which is shown here in India. PIZZA Hut here in chennai is an example, you can see hordes of people waiting for the 'take home'. Their order is taken, money taken and they are showed the way out where they wait like beggars, practically, which is pathetic. Why are we so desparate ? And it is not even such a nice worthy pizza after all, they make it to Indian standards where there is always a compromise somewhere.

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Originally Posted by nandans2005 View Post
I infact for the first time came across this service charge in Bangalore & was taken aback. Somebody here rightly said, its ok for the service to be charged, if mentioned or informed.

All said & done, i personally felt its not correct to charge a customer for service without the knowledge & this amounts to cheating. It should be done openly & the customer needs to informed before hand.
Absolutely agree on that. Even when it is mentioned in the menu, it does not say how much. Pizza hut charged us 183 bucks service charge for 2000 app bill. This is ridiculous, I would have been happy to leave a tip of 200 or even 300 if they had provided glasses for drinking water or enough spoons for the soup ordered. They simply don't have drinking water glasses or spoons. And there is no one to even look in your direction once the order has been taken or delivered.


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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
Including service charge in the bill is a move in the right direction. THis is the norm in countries like Singapore. Service is uniformly good but in case it is exceptional you are free to leave some more tips- however there is no compulsion.

After I returned from abroad, I automatically started doing the 10% calculation. I remember once when I took a bunch of my boys out to dinner and drinks I left 500/- on a bill of about 5.5K. Everyone including the manager escorted us out of the place with loud exhortations to please come again LOL. Most people cap out at 50/- or 100/- at most, no matter what the bill is, which seems unfair since tips form a big component of the waiter's income.

Another tip, slightly off-topic: Please leave tips in cash rather than add it as a secondary item on the credit card bill. I have been told that restaurant owners don't pass on the credit card additions to their staff, which is really disgusting (but understandable- this is India!) At smaller places, I actually take the chotu to the side and press a note in his hand discreetly!
Isn't this the pathetic spirit that these restaurants/waiters/workers exploit. So what if the manager escorts you out, did you feel like a billionaire for leaving just 500 bucks ? We Indians suck up to anyone and when someone does the same we are over the moon, is that right in any way ? I would say that if you were so happy and elated, leave 1k or even 2k and walk out even before the waiter and the manager realised that, would that hurt ?
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Old 10th January 2011, 12:26   #77
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

As few people mentioned here it is cultural aspect , Obviously restaurant owners would like to import cultural aspects which suit them. What puzzles me is that customers who are happy to import these cultural aspects which do not suit them as customers.

It seems funny that while in Italy and Spain I saw that people hold pizza in hand and eat it some how people in India try hard to use fork and knife while at Pizza hut :-) not knowing it is meant to be a finger food.
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Old 10th January 2011, 12:47   #78
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
in Italy and Spain saw that people hold pizza in hand and eat it some how people in India try hard to use fork and knife while at Pizza hut :-) not knowing it is meant to be a finger food.

Ha ha,
good to see that you mentioned pizza, hand, knife and fork.
I hate to see such nonsense in India on the name of western food culture.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 10th January 2011 at 12:52.
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Old 10th January 2011, 13:47   #79
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
It seems funny that while in Italy and Spain I saw that people hold pizza in hand and eat it some how people in India try hard to use fork and knife while at Pizza hut :-) not knowing it is meant to be a finger food.
If people are comfortable eating it using a knife & fork, what's the problem?
Just because people in Italy & Spain consider it finger food, doesn't mean everyone should.
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Old 10th January 2011, 14:03   #80
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
It seems funny that while in Italy and Spain I saw that people hold pizza in hand and eat it some how people in India try hard to use fork and knife while at Pizza hut :-) not knowing it is meant to be a finger food.
Well said, Amit! its amusing, actually!
Even more interesting is that the outlet keeps forks and knives beside the plate to be used, knowing very well that they serve mainly pizza.
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Old 10th January 2011, 14:50   #81
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

I think ppl need to know the different between service TAX and service charge.

Any service you offer to a customer, and you get PAID for it, is taxed by the govt.
This is service tax of 10% + educational cess which makes it 10.3%.

Service charge is just another charge by the restaurant, which is billed, however, not displayed in the menu card.

And hence, unjust practice.

Otherwise its perfectly fair and legal to ask for a separate supply charges (food items) and service charges - like we do for any other good and services contract in commercial realm.
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Old 10th January 2011, 14:55   #82
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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If people are comfortable eating it using a knife & fork, what's the problem?
Just because people in Italy & Spain consider it finger food, doesn't mean everyone should.
Well problem is I am yet to find many people who are comfortable eating a pizza with falling toppings and gluey sticky melted cheez with fork. Most of the people I have noticed look around and not sure if knife should be in left or right hand. Thy are just doing it to confirm to an environment where a fork and knife is kept besides a pizza.

Tipping is something similar, People just try to confirm to an environment
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Old 10th January 2011, 15:24   #83
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

Tipping is meant as a token of appreciation and should be strictly left to that. The charge being included in the bill and even though it makes for consistent revenue, it neither ensures good services nor tip money to the deserving candidate.

Tipping is a voluntary activity and yes we need time to catch up to this idea in this country and it's just non-sense to bring about that by force.
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Old 10th January 2011, 16:15   #84
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post

Tipping is something similar, People just try to confirm to an environment
Perfectly ok to conform to an environment when you get to such a place. I don't find Pizza Hut a place to conform, rather they have to conform to my standards. I am saying this because they are such cheapos the way they treat customers and also rob them at the same time.
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Old 10th January 2011, 16:17   #85
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Perfectly ok to conform to an environment when you get to such a place. I don't find Pizza Hut a place to conform, rather they have to conform to my standards. I am saying this because they are such cheapos the way they treat customers and also rob them at the same time.
Exactly one more thing I have observed budget fast food joints of USA somehow project themselves as quite upmarket , prim and proper here a case in point is TGIF , Pizza hut etc.
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Old 10th January 2011, 16:29   #86
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Exactly one more thing I have observed budget fast food joints of USA somehow project themselves as quite upmarket , prim and proper here a case in point is TGIF , Pizza hut etc.
I guess you should include McDonalds in the list. In europe at least, going to Mcdonalds is probably one of the last choices while thinking about where to eat. However at least you are not expected to tip there, I hope its the same in McDonalds in India.
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Old 10th January 2011, 16:33   #87
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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Originally Posted by amitk26 View Post
TGIF , Pizza hut etc.
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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
McDonalds in India.
Add to that Taco Bell, I have seen people hyperventilate as to how amazing their experience has been at Taco Bell in Bangalore.
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Old 10th January 2011, 16:58   #88
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

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I guess you should include McDonalds in the list. In europe at least, going to Mcdonalds is probably one of the last choices while thinking about where to eat. However at least you are not expected to tip there, I hope its the same in McDonalds in India.
Thank god, McDonald's and KFC have self service counters and I guess there is no service charges as well.
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Old 10th January 2011, 17:28   #89
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

jassi - yes this is also my experience - people get pleasantly surprised when one is simply polite and appreciative when one has received a service. leaving a decent tip on top of that and they are pretty over the moon.
carboy - it is simply an established norm - in case you are satisfied with the service. It is your money - please do exactly what you wish to, with it.
phamilyman - I believe in appreciation when I receive good service. If I were to receive lousy service then I will also not tip. Your inputs on Egypt were interesting and useful. thanks.
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Old 10th January 2011, 17:59   #90
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Default Re: Can a customer be charged for Service (at a restaurant)?

The whole thing about mandatory tipping is basically us aping the west. The restaurants have mandatory service charge because rarely anyone will complain (especially if its a posh restaurant).

AFAIK, Tipping is a gesture and gestures can not be mandatory. It is a gesture i reciprocate for good service over and above other levied charges and goes beyond just restaurants. My dad makes it a point to bring gifts or tips to sales executive and gatekeeper at the time of delivery of car. Also we tip the person washing the car (for that matter serving us food, making our beds or carrying our luggage) when we stay overnight at a friend's place or hotel. It is a sign of respect towards workmanship of person and would apply to any field from your architect/interior designer to the person just installed an elevator at your building.

This is something that is prevalent in our society since ages. And most indians still follow this.

It all takes a nasty turn when you add 'mandatory' to this gesture. Why must I pay 10% or 20% or any pre-determined value for that matter. It is not as if I have not paid you for your work/service. You have raised a bill/invoice which I am not disputing whatever may be the price on it. I am not questioning how much profit you make from your bill and what part of it you are distributing to your workers.

Then, is it my problem that you pay basic wages to your workers and keep handsome profits to yourself and then expect me to gesture kindly towards your staff whether I like it or not.

Western cultures may have different modus operandi in their society and traditions and fair share to them but why should I, living in India, eating in India, for items brought in India, pay according to their traditions.

We never question western cultures for things like respecting elders regardless of their social stature. In fact, nowadays its cool amongst us Indians too to shout at our maids, helps, sweepers regardless of person's age.

WHAT A SHAM!
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