scorecardRemember to tip your waiter, there is no more service charge on your bill
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Remember to tip your waiter, there is no more service charge on your bill

Remember to tip your waiter, there is no more service charge on your bill
Business2 min read
  • Removal of service charge by default will affect the incomes of servers, waiters, kitchen staff and cleaners.
  • The national average salary of a waiter is ₹16,400 per month in India, according to jobs review platform Glassdoor.
  • Depending on the grade of the employee, servers make anything between ₹5,000-₹20,000 from these service charges and tips, says Pradeep Shetty, a senior executive in hotel and restaurant associations of India.
The Indian government’s decision to throw service charges at restaurants out of the window will make restaurant bills lighter. However, it is not good news for the employees of an industry who subsist on tips to make up for their low incomes.

Servers, waiters, kitchen staff and cleaners will be directly impacted by the decision to not pay a 10% service charge.

“Service charge is a charge collected for the benefit of the staff which includes everyone from the waiters to the personnel working in the kitchen who have served a consumer directly and indirectly,” Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, vice-president of Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI), said.

A service charge is an amount that is added to your bill in a restaurant to pay for the work of the person who comes and serves. A smaller percentage — 30% — of this amount can also be deducted in case of any breakages by the servers at the restaurants and hotels.

Average salary of a waiter is ₹16,400 per month

According to jobs review platform Glassdoor, the national average salary of a waiter is ₹16,400 per month in India. The salary estimates are based on 73 salaries submitted anonymously to Glassdoor by waiter employees. Data from other publications like Jobted, Talent, and Salary Expert is also in the similar range, if not lower.

Tips are an essential part of their salaries

“Depending on the grade of the employee, they make anything from ₹5,000-₹20,000 from these service charges and tips. It’s over and above their salary,” Pradeep Shetty, Joint Honorary Secretary at FHRAI and senior vice president at Hotel & Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), told Business Insider India.

In other countries — like the USA, UK, Canada and more — the restaurant staff works on a minimum wage but tips make a sizeable chunk of their take-home salary.

Now that the service charge is out of the picture, it is going to reduce the take home income for the people working at the ground level of the hospitality industry.

The only thing that would bring some relief to the people working in the industry is if the customers choose to pay the 10% service charge or build a habit of tipping, like it is in most Western countries.

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