Complex Web of Charges in Restaurant

Being a foodie , I have visited and tasted food right across from street side vendors serving 4 pieces of Gol Gappa for just 10 Rs. to High End Luxury Cafe charging INR 1000 for 50 ml super small size serving of basic English tea .

Although various factor comes into play while deciding the right price as Brand , location , ambiance , hospitality , product , chef etc.  Generally in our  review  of places ,  we try to benchmark and share opinion if the price tag for food was justified or not .

But really , my issue has not been the prices /cost becaz I know when I see Online/Offline Menu card how much they are charging and should i go ahead with ordering or not based on occasion and my wallet size ( Yes , the swings are very large depending it’s start of a month or end ) . The painful part begins , when the bills arrive and it is 20-40 % more than your calculation .. Yes , the taxes , duties and charges are the main culprits behind this .. Again , as a Law abiding citizen , I know paying duty is must and the host have no share in it .

But , But , But … how these taxes are calculated makes me go on a roller coaster crazy spin  . Really , based on 400 + dine in place experience , I am truly confused what’s the actual tax rates are .  Mainly I see 3 headings over Basic rate :

  • VAT – Value Added Tax

  • Service Charge

  • Service tax

But the values of these changes drastically from place to place and even from dish to dish . Many Fast food joint charges different tax for Food , Diff. for Beverages , Diff for Take Away and so many combinations of them .download

Interestingly , Between these taxes , Restro owners have smartly added Service charges which most of people think as another form of Tax but in reality they are forcing you to pay  ” TIP ” which must be a optional part and which now directly goes in pocket of them . they have not mentioned it basic price just to attract customer to lure on deal .

Even , many friends and family members I talked experienced similar situation and were utterly confused as their is no explanation available with the serving staff and none of the menu card have clearly mentioned rates for them ( which must be made mandatory ) .

So while food makes you lick your fingers , it’s bill with web of taxes  leave you red-headed with focus shifting on calculating and re-calculating how much above the budget your meal went and whether or not you visit the place next time .

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Specifically for these reason , my family  keep looking for places which mentions ” ALL INCLUSIVE ” food deals  .

May be my love for food will continue under the pressure of uncontrollable taste buds , but surely for larger interest of people , clarity over taxes will go long way in resolving  issues which leaves a bitter taste in mind of host as well as guest .

Hopefully Restaurants Associations and Government would look into in this matter and GST can solve these problem introducing single component in bill .

For Further Reading and getting more sense on this topic , checkout any of these links :


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