New Delhi, January 3: Service charge is a fee levied by a restaurant for the service it gives to the customers.
Usually, the restaurants charge 5%-25% of the meal’s bill as service charge. In view of the current debate on paying the service charge in India, here’s a quick look at top cities in the world to find out how they charge for service in their country:
1. New York
• Many hotels and restaurants charge a 15-25% gratuity on bills, which has to be paid mandatorily. Several outlets that cater to tourists often include a service charge on top of the gratuity.
• Most people tip in the US. The rate is typically 15%-20% for wait staff, room service and taxi drivers.
• Restaurants here add a discretionary 12.5% charge, especially when there’s a large group of customers. One can either pay the fee or leave a generous tip.
• It is customary to tip 10-15% of the bill for the wait staff.
• As part of the European Union, France levies a TVA (European Value Added Tax) and French restaurants always add a 15% service charge on top of the TVA.
• While tipping is appreciated here, it is not obligatory. However, tipping taxi drivers is considered a given irrespective of the quality of service provided.
• Most dining establishments add a 10% service charge to the check. If it is stated on the menu, you are required to pay it. In recent years, more and more restaurants are adopting a “no service charge” policy.
• Tipping here is not required, except for exceptional service. In fact, tips in regular restaurants could be seen as patronizing.
• Australia has an overarching 10% Goods and Services Tax. On public holidays, a 15% service charge is applied to bills. Some establishments may also levy a fee of upto 10% for large bookings.
• Tipping is common in Sydney restaurants, with 10% of the total bill being the norm.
• Most restaurants charge 8% consumer tax, though luxury restaurants may also add 10-15% service charge to the bill. Many bars and eateries have a custom of ‘sekiryou’, which is a nominal fee for your seat in the establishment.
• Japan levy no such charges. Insisting on leaving tips is likely to offend the staff or hosts.