Brawl over bill: Massive fights erupt in Noida restaurant

Service charge dispute escalates into violent confrontation in Noida eatery

| Updated: 19 June, 2023 8:31 pm IST
Video grab of the incident

NEW DELHI: A disturbing video capturing a violent clash between a family and the staff members of a restaurant over a service charge dispute has surfaced in Noida.

The incident occurred at Float by Duty Free in Spectrum Mall on Sunday, leaving bystanders shocked.

The video, recorded by witnesses present at the scene, quickly went viral on social media platforms. The footage shows an intense altercation between the family members and the restaurant’s bouncers, with both parties resorting to physical violence and hurling abuses.

In the video, individuals are seen throwing punches and forcibly dragging the restaurant staff, who fiercely push back in self-defence. The chaotic scene also involves women becoming inadvertently entangled in the brawl.

Despite the presence of a few individuals, presumably restaurant staff, attempting to quell the conflict and restore peace, their efforts prove futile.

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According to tweets from one of the family members involved, the altercation escalated after the family received their bill, which included a service charge. The tweets allege that around 30 people, all associated with the restaurant, participated in the attack.

Confirming the incident, Harish Chandra, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) for Noida Zone, stated, “The fight broke out over the service charge. We have identified the accused and are following the law. We will ensure that those who resorted to violence are arrested.”

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A case has been registered at the Sector 113 police station, and authorities are actively pursuing the perpetrators involved in the violent clash.

The imposition of service charges by restaurants has long been a contentious issue. Last year, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs highlighted that many establishments automatically levy service charges, even though they are voluntary and not mandated by law.

The Delhi High Court had previously issued a stay on the Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA) guidelines that aimed to ban service charges. However, the court clarified in April that restaurants cannot mislead customers by suggesting that the charge has been approved by the court.

Justice Prathiba M Singh instructed two prominent bodies, the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) and the Federation of Hotels and Restaurant Associations (FHRAI), to convene a meeting and inform the court how many of their members are willing to clarify to consumers that service charges are not mandatory but rather voluntary contributions.

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