April 18, 2024

The city council has passed a resolution requesting restaurants and other food establishments in the city to post a notice indicating they are charging a service fee.

The resolution stated the notice should be written in bold letters printed on a sign board that is large enough to catch the attention of diners. The notice should be posted in a conspicuous place within the premises of the establishment.

A service charge is an amount added to a bill for any work or service rendered. It is paid by the customer directly to the company/establishment and not to the crew/staff.

Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda, author of the resolution, said collecting a service charge and adding it to the bill without prior notice is an “unfair” practice, thus the need to correct it. 

Tabanda said many diners in restaurants and other similar establishments serving food are dismayed to find out that a service fee has been added to their bill as there was no prior notice given by the management.

“Charging an additional amount for services rendered brings disappointment to the diners, especially if the amount is being added to the bill without prior notice,” Tabanda said.

In her resolution, Tabanda cited Republic Act 7394 or the Consumer Welfare Act, which was enacted to protect the rights and interest of the consumers and prevent deceptive and unfair acts of unscrupulous business owners.

She also cited RA 11360 (An Act Providing that Service Charges Collected by Hotels, Restaurants and other Similar Establishments be Distributed in Full to All Covered Employees), which mandates all establishments collecting service charge to distribute all service charges to all employees except those in managerial positions.

She claimed there is no law specifying a minimum or maximum amount of the percentage of service charges. – Jordan G. Habbiling