Source: Gulf News
Photo: Food Collection
The Director General of the Ministry of Economy, Mohammad Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehi, confirmed that it was illegal for non-tourist restaurants to add service charges.
Many restaurant-goers are under the impression that the service charge levied goes to workers, but employees and managers said this was not the case. Restaurants and cafes must immediately stop adding any service charges to their consumer bills in compliance with the decision of the Higher Committee for Consumer Protection, said the Director General of the Ministry of Economy, Mohammad Ahmad Bin Abdul Aziz Al Shehi.
At a meeting with representatives of economic development departments, Al Shehi confirmed that it was illegal for non-tourist restaurants to add service charges, WAM reported.
Restaurants and cafes operating inside hotels and those paying fees to the local governments are the only exception, he explained adding that field inspection teams will ensure an end to any violations of Consumer Protection Law Number 24 for 2006.
The Ministry of Economy had earlier declared that imposing a service fee is illegal, and that it will soon come up with a bylaw to prevent outlets from charging customers the extra fee.
According to a Gulf News investigation, restaurants dishing out service charges to customers were aware that it was illegal to inflate food bills in this manner but insisted they will stick with the practice until there is an official notification.
Al Shehi stressed that all relevant departments are fully prepared to put an end to the adding of illegal service charges to bills by restaurants in the UAE.