Restaurants to be prohibited from imposing service charges

The Federal Service for Consumer Rights Protection plans to introduce new regulation for catering services. Restaurants will be prohibited from including tips and other hidden charges in checks, according to a draft regulation published on the public services website.

The new rule for cafes and restaurants will take effect on January 1, 2021. The current regulation has been in force since 1997.

It is stated in one clause of the document that restaurant administration has no right to charge additional service fees. Specifically, such expenses as commission or tips are not related to the cost of products on the menu or other paid services.

The new resolution prohibits charging extra fees. A customer may refuse to pay for such services or, if the fee has already been paid, request a refund.

The agency also addressed online retail. The new rules state that customers may order food and beverages remotely, using telephone or electronic communications. Restaurants offering online orders must provide detailed information about the product and terms of service. Starting 2021, the book of complaints may become available in the electronic format and therefore accessible to every customer.

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