The Russian government is working to protect consumer rights when it comes to eating out. Recently, new rules were approved that ban the inclusion of tips and other service charges, such as commissions and surcharges, in a customer’s check total.
According to a statement by Rospotrebnadzor (the Federal Service for Surveillance on Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing – quite a mouthful), “this approach should eliminate the practice of misleading consumers about the real costs of providing these services.”
The rules also specify that restaurants and such institutions must disclose to the customer which services are free and which come at a cost, such as music for example. The new regulations will take effect starting on January first.
It’s difficult to say how much these new regulations will affect the restaurant sector. According to the Vice-President of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers, Vadim Prasov, the new rules will not change anything for the majority of businesses: “This will not affect most establishments, because after all, the bulk of cafes and a la carte restaurants always say that the tip is left at the discretion of the guest.”
According to an analysis by Sberbank and the Foodtech platform SberFood, on average Russians leave 7.5% of the check total for a tip at cafes and restaurants of all types.
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