No service charge, no service

Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry said all hotels and restaurants must display notices if there were service charges at their outlets. ― Malay Mail pic
Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry said all hotels and restaurants must display notices if there were service charges at their outlets. ― Malay Mail pic

PETALING JAYA, April 17 — A prominently displayed sign at the entrance to a Chinese restaurant in Bangsar Shopping Centre is shunning away potential customers wishing to dine at the outlet.

The restaurant has six other outlets in Malaysia and one in London.

The restaurant spokesman said the directive came from its parent company and applied to all its outlets in the country.

“The notice is to inform customers there is a six per cent GST (Goods and Services Tax) on top of a 10 per cent service charge imposed here. If the customer does not want to pay, then they don’t need to dine at our restaurant,” she said.

She also said the restaurant had not received any complaints regarding the matter from its customers.

“Our customers are good, we have never had problems with them. We always give good service,” she said.

Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) chief executive officer Datuk Paul Selvaraj said the notice was needlessly crude.

“No restaurant should turn away a customer, it is unethical. They should not tell customers to go to another restaurant to eat,” he said.

Selvaraj said Fomca was against service charge fee.

“Customers should not have to pay for service charge. If they want to tip the waiter, then they could. Sometimes, we are not even sure if the service charge by smaller eateries actually go to the waiters,” he said.

Earlier this month, the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry said only hotels and restaurants that had collective agreements with their employees could impose such charges.

The ministry said all hotels and restaurants must display notices if there were service charges at their outlets.

Its director-general, Datuk Seri Alias Ahmad, said the ministry would soon be issuing guidelines to these outlets on the size and format of these notices.

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