Customer surprised to pay 5% service charge for takeaway drinks: 'Is this the new norm?'

Submitted by Stomper Alethia

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It is accepted that when you dine in a restaurant in Singapore, there will be a service charge and good and services tax (GST) added to your final bill.

But what about takeaways?

Stomper Alethia ordered two houjicha to go from a dessert shop in Tanjong Pagar on Sept 27 and did not expect to find the additional charge on her receipt.

"I just had takeaway from Tsujiri and was surprised to be charged a service fee!" said the Stomper.

She shared a photo of the receipt, which showed the price of the two drinks was $5.50 after a 50 per cent discount.

There was also an additional 5 per cent service charge of 28 cents and 8 per cent GST of 46 cents, bringing the total to $6.24.

"Is this the new norm?" asked the Stomper.

"The staff insisted it's common practice in the area."

Stomp has contacted Tsujiri for more info.

The Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (Iras) website states: "F&B establishments that provide both dine-in and takeaway/delivery for the same food items, but service charge is imposed on dine-in only, are also allowed to display GST-exclusive prices."

This suggests that a service charge is not expected for takeaway/delivery.

Iras added: "It is common for businesses in the hotel or food and beverage industry to impose a service charge on their goods and services provided. Iras does not interfere with such business decisions.

"Whether the customer should pay for the service charge depends on the agreement between the customer and the business on the price payable for the goods and services provided."