A delegation of Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of
India (FHRAI) met top officials of the Department of Consumer Affairs,
Government of India and demanded a review of the notification that
the department has issued yesterday against hotels and restaurants
charging ‘Service Charge’ as part of the invoice without the consent of
The FHRAI delegation in their memorandum to the
Department of Consumer Affairs said that the government notification
would “create unnecessary chaos and disruption of smooth functioning of
the restaurants in the country, as well as expose restaurants to
The delegation has also placed on
record various judgments by the apex consumer court in the country and
the Supreme Court itself on the issue of Service charge from time to
time, declaring it fair and valid.
After meeting the Deputy Secretary (CPU), Department of Consumer
Affairs, Amitabh Devendra, Secretary General, FHRAI expressed the hope
that the government would “review” the matter taking all aspects of
the issue into consideration. “Service Charge is not an unfair trade
practice. It’s business model accepted everywhere. The only thing is
that it should be adequately advertised or prominently displayed. When
it is disclosed in advance, it becomes part of a contract,” he said.
the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, the central department had notified
that ‘service charge’ is “completely discretionary” and can only be
“accepted voluntarily” from the consumers by hospitality establishments.