Eateries in the dark over service charge signage

KUALA LUMPUR - Many restaurants are still unaware of the need to display a visible service charge notice at the entrance.

During a check of about 20 restaurants here, only about one-third of them displayed signages according to the Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Ministry's guidelines.

On April 24, the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Alias Ahmad announced that hotels and restaurants imposing service charge must display the expression "all prices or charges are subject to _% service charge" in capital letters, with the height of the lettering measuring no less than 5cm.

When contacted yesterday, Alias said his officers had started conducting random checks across the country on the signages.

An owner of a food outlet, known only as Yong, said: "We were so confused with the service charge orders by the ministry. One time they said we can't charge, then they say we can and now we are given less than a week to prepare such signages."

She said her workers were trying to get temporary signages ready to be displayed at the restaurant's entrance.

"With the long holiday weekend, all the printing services are closed and we can only print out the notice on A4 paper and frame it up first," she said.

For another recently opened restaurant, its manager Malik said he was not aware of the new ruling.

"We have been imposing service charge but I was told to display a notice at the payment counter only," he said.

Malik's restaurant displayed an A4-sized notice of the service charge in English at the payment counter.

Another food outlet informed its patrons of a 10 per cent service charge on the menu placed at the entrance.