All Restaurants and Tourism Association (TÜRES) President Ramazan Bingöl stated that this practice exists in many countries of the world, especially in the USA, and said that the number of tourists in Turkey has increased and tourists do not leave tips, considering that there is a service fee.
Stating that this practice, which is common in the world, has now started to become widespread in Turkey, Bingöl said, “Tips were more common in Turkey in the past. However, people don’t leave tips like they used to. Businesses started to write a standard 10-15 percent ‘service fee’, and this was added to the ticket. “They add it. It’s served in restaurants, which is the price for it. This is a very normal and natural thing. When a service fee is charged, people don’t need to leave a tip. They can still leave if they want.” he said.
“The application is spreading in other restaurants as well”
Stating that there are now such applications, especially in luxury restaurants, and that additional fees such as valet and cover can be requested, Bingöl said, “You are sitting and they give you treats such as water, cheese and butter. Such applications are now standardized in the country. People are not used to this right now. There are places that write 100 lira, there are places that take 300 lira valet money. The customer will act accordingly, going to places that suit their own budget and taste. This practice, which started in luxury restaurants, is now widespread in middle and lower level restaurants. Due to increasing costs, these applications are no longer available. Very normal.” made its assessment.
Pointing out that some businesses state that there will be a service fee on their menus, while others do not share such a warning, Bingöl said, “If you go to a restaurant at a certain level, you will risk these fees.” said.
Stating that this cost can be left to the employees or can be shared between the business and the employees, depending on the attitude of the business, Bingöl said, “The consumer should get used to this now, do you add a service fee to the place they go to?” He might ask. It was the practice in the world anyway, and Türkiye has already moved on to it.” used the phrase.
“Legislation needs to be done”
Consumers’ Association Chairman Levent Küçük stated that in the past, some luxury businesses in Turkey charged a service fee of 10 percent, excluding tips, but he thought that this practice was also wrong. Küçük pointed out that additional fees under the names of cover, service fee and similar names have become widespread.
Pointing out that according to the Price Label Regulation of the Ministry of Commerce, businesses have to keep the price and tariff information they apply in a way that the consumer can see, Küçük said, “In case of a service charge or any other charge under any name, it must be shown in the tariff and price list.” stated that his statement was included.
Emphasizing that small businesses that offer catering services should normally reflect the fees they receive under the name of “service fee” to their retail sales prices, he said:
“The selling price of a good is determined by considering costs such as energy, water, rent, raw materials, goods, personnel and profit margin. Therefore, only the retail sale price of a good or service should be reflected to the consumers. People can leave a tip voluntarily. it is not right to charge a service fee and it is in the form of imposition, it is not right to apply this without the knowledge of consumers. This fee should be visibly posted or stated on the menu. If you do not examine the incoming account, you can leave a tip again without realizing this fee. It is important to be sensitive. There is also a need for a clear legal regulation on the issue.”