The Bavarian frustrating customers with addition of ‘industry service charge’ to bills

A diner has been left perplexed by a bizarre surcharge on their receipt.

The confusion came after a night out at The Bavarian, a German-themed pub and restaurant, on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

The Bavarian has around 30 outlets across Australia with branches concentrated in and around Sydney and Brisbane.

The person took a snap of their receipt and posted it on the website Reddit.

The receipt incudes the usual Bavarian fare – a schnitzel or two, some cheeseburgers and beers.

But there was puzzlement at $5.35 added to the bill as an “industry service charge”.

It amounted to around five per cent of the $112 bill.

“Can anyone explain what the $5.35 industry service charge is? I have not seen this hidden gem before?” said the diner.

“Looks like a ‘mandatory tip’ to me,” said one person who replied.

Others asked “is this legal?”

In very small type the menu of The Bavarian does include a list of its many and various surcharges.

These include credit card fees, a 10 per cent “discretionary charge” for groups of 10 or more, a 10 per surcharge on Sundays and 15 per cent addition on public holidays.

There is no mention of an “industry service charge”. However the menu does state that a “5 per cent service fee applies Mondays to Saturdays”.

According to the Queensland Government’s Office of Fair Trading, surcharges at restaurants are perfectly legal so long as the extra percentage is displayed “prominently, clearly and transparently”.

But some online questioned why a surcharge would need to be added for six days of the week.

“A daily service fee? Why not just raise the prices 5 per cent and reduce the Sunday surcharge!?” asked one.

It’s not the first time The Bavarian has raised the ire of customers with its seemingly daily service fee that you can’t avoid.

One customer at a NSW venue noticed his beer that cost $8 on the menu was actually $8.40 when he came to pay after the additional fee.

“My view is that if there is no way of avoiding the fee, it needs to be included in the price,” said one.

Angry customers have also started peppering The Bavarian’s social media platforms with complaints about the multitude of surcharges it adds to bills.

“They charge a 5 per cent service fee Monday to Saturday and more if you use a credit card to pay. What a rip off,” one wrote.

Another customer said the everyday surcharge angered them so much that “I’ll be going elsewhere from now on out of principle”.

Originally published as The Bavarian frustrating customers with addition of seemingly unavoidable ‘industry service charge’ to bills

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