08 May, 2021

Diner’s Dilemma

In the era of 10 per cent service tax, should you pay extra tip?

Amit Haralkar
Diner’s Dilemma

This may surprise you but I do not leave a tip in upscale restaurants. Most of the time. When they add a service charge of 10 per cent, as many of these restaurants do these days, I assume the money goes to the staff that has served me. After all, it is for service. It is the tip. The only difference is that it is added to the bill instead of leaving it to your discretion. It is intended to protect the employees from tight-fisted customers who might leave less, or sometimes nothing.

Now here is my dilemma. I have absolutely no way of knowing if the owner of the restaurant who has added a service charge on my bill is being honest. What if he pockets the whole amount or takes most of it and leaves very little for his employees? It is time the government makes rules on who gets the tip, if it is optional, or the service charge, if it is added to the bill.

Here is another racket many restaurants have got into in recent years. Some of you may have noticed that your bill, besides having an addition of 10 per cent as service charge, also leaves a space for...

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