Goodbye to the compulsory fixed collection of tips in restaurants, the consumer decides

Goodbye to the compulsory fixed collection of tips in restaurants, the consumer decides

Many Colombians feel uncomfortable and sometimes helpless when a waiter in a restaurant says “do you agree to include the tip?”. A yes to that question implies that they will charge 10% of the value that the user has consumed in the place, for which the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce issued a circular in which it clarifies the rules that govern around this expense that, moreover, ends up making restaurant services more expensive, which, in itself, is more expensive due to food inflation.

Although it is true that the tip is the additional payment for a service that the consumer considers to have been provided adequately, in many restaurants they have practically made it mandatory, because even if they ask the client, it is an uncomfortable moment that ends with a ‘yes. ‘.

For this reason, the SuperIndustry established that said charge may not be included in the account, as is done in most cases. “The establishment can suggest the value of the tip, as long as it does not exceed 10% of the value of the service provided, and the consumer must be asked, when he requests the settlement of his account, if he wishes to include it in the invoice or if he wishes pay a different amount,” says the circular.

The control entity was emphatic in pointing out to consumers that the citizen can decide at any time, even not to pay the tip, or modify its amount according to their criteria. At present, it had practically become one more charge on the bill for consumption in the restaurant, so many users ended up accepting it, even though they were not satisfied with the service received, which is the purpose of the tip.

In addition, adds the SuperIndustry, even if the invoice has already been issued, if they were not asked before, the citizens could request that the charge be eliminated.

super industry logo
Logo of the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce – Photo: Superindustry

Other provisions

Similarly, through notices posted to At the entrance of the establishment, in the letters with the menus and in the price lists, consumers must be informed about the voluntary nature of the tip and its destination, indicated the superintendency.

Consequently, in addition to asking the consumer if he agrees to include the tip, they must inform him that he has the right not to pay it or to modify it, establishes the document issued this Wednesday.

Where to claim?

For establishments that provide food service, it is essential that they take into account that, Any breach of the provisions issued will lead to the imposition of fines that can amount to up to 2,000 minimum wages.

And consumers cannot forget that, at the time of having any problem with the application of the regulations, they can go to the SuperIndustry, through its telephone service channels or by institutional email contactenos@sic.gov.co.

Since when?

These provisions will come into force within the two months following their publication in the Official Gazette, that is, from November 5, 2022.

What is the tip for?

Remember that the tip is the contribution that the client gives the worker for the service provided. However, restaurants began to establish a kind of bag which, according to what they say, is subsequently distributed among all the workers. This contribution is a kind of stimulus to the good performance of those who provided the service and for that it should be. In some cases, waiters and service personnel in restaurants reported that they used it for other purposes.