GEORGE TOWN: A sushi restaurant which charged a 10% “CNY tax” here during the recent Chinese New Year holidays said it was “normal” for eateries to impose a surcharge to offset the rise in food prices during festive periods.
Speaking to FMT, the spokesperson said she was no different from other restaurants, which similarly imposed surcharges on the final bill.
“Do you know that most restaurants impose a 10% tax during Chinese New Year? This is because prices of vegetable go up during CNY.
“A notice was placed at the cashier counter for our customers to see.
“We have done that on Facebook, too.
“We have no intention of cheating our customers; we are Buddhists,” the spokesperson said.
When asked if she could have called the “tax” a surcharge, the spokesperson said: “Yeah, maybe next CNY, we will call it a surcharge. And also put it on the front door as you suggested.”
Recently, a woman complained to FMT saying her bill for six people was levied a “10% CNY tax”, on top of a 10% service charge and 6% GST.
She said she was only aware of the “tax” when she got her receipt.
Later, she found out that the tax was only applicable from Jan 27 to Feb 2. But she had gone to the restaurant on Feb 3.
She later contacted the restaurant to ask for a refund of the tax paid, which came up to almost RM20.
The restaurant agreed and apologised, citing “error” in the point-of-sale system.
The Consumers Association of Penang had called the CNY tax “likely illegal”. -FMT