The government will not make any law or issue any order to hotels or restaurants to regulate food portions served to the customers, a union minister said on Friday.
“We do not want to make any law or issue any order to hotels. We want the hotel industry to make arrangements by their own,” Union Food and Consumer Affairs Minister Ram Vilas Paswan said.
At a press briefing, Paswan said, “Prime Minister has in his monthly radio address to the nation, Mann Ki Baat, talked about wastage of food. Since customers do not know about the quantity of food being served, they cannot finish it and remaining part goes waste. So we have asked hotels to tell customers about the quantity of food in each menu so they can order accordingly”.
The minister said the government did not want to interfere in the MRP (Maximum Retail Price) charged by hotels.
“Hotels should tell us what amount of soup, in terms of mililitre, or number of prawns in one plate is served. So customers can order according to their needs. We do not want to interfere with the MRP but quantity of food should be written on menu cards,” he said.
He asserted that it a customer’s right to know what he/she is getting for what he/she would pay, Paswan added.
The government has also asked the Association of Hotels to train their staff to stop wastage of food.
“The association has agreed to spread awareness among consumers and train their waiters to stop wastage. Many have even started serving half-plate,” said Madhulika Sukul, Additional Secretary, Consumer Affairs Department.
The government had also prepared an advisory to remove service charge component from the restaurant bill since it was not a tax but a tip, Paswan said.
“It is wrong to levy service charge on bill. Let customers decide if they want to pay it. Else, hotels can ask customers before charging it. We have sent advisory to the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office) in this regard,” he said.
He also said the establishments printing dual MRPs on products will be met with action.
“It is against the law. Action will be taken in such cases. There has been some success in this regard. Pepsi’s Aquafina has decided to charge same MRP across the country,” Paswan said.
He added that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has issued orders to stadiums affiliated to it to charge one MRP for drinking water bottles.