Zi Char Stalls Suddenly Charging GST & Service Charge; Diners Now Worried It Might be a Trend

Yep, that’s right. Your favourite zi char stall might start charging GST and service charge.

But what is the service charge for? Is calling customers handsome and pretty equivalent to good service?

Netizens Discuss Sign Announcing GST and Service Charge

A notice at Fu Li Seafood Stall’s Bishan Block 120 branch took customers by surprise: GST and service charges will come into effect starting from 1 August 2022.

This stall, which operates more than ten zi char stalls islandwide, also stated that the service charge is for dine-in only.

Image: Shin Min Daily News

This stirred up discussions amongst the community, as it is the first time that many people are seeing a coffee shop stall charging service fees. After all, aren’t service fees only for the atas restaurants with air-conditioning?

As for GST, most people know that as long as the store’s turnover exceeds one million dollars, GST must be collected. Since this store has many branches islandwide, this change is understandable.

Will Other Stalls Start Collecting Service Fees?

Consumers interviewed by Shin Min Daily News were concerned that other stalls will start collecting service fees, now that this stall has done it.

After all, hawker centres are where we go for affordable food. Any hike in prices would be keenly felt by the consumers who have been buying their food for years.

Associate Professor Walter Theseira from Singapore University of Social Sciences’ business school noted that service fees are not part of government taxes. Instead, they are an industry practice, and are dependent on the operator’s decisions.

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Boss Clarifies: Service Fee is 0.1%

Ms Wu Yujiao, the owner of Fu Li Seafood Stall, told Shin Min that all 15 of their local branches will start charging GST and service charge starting from 1 August.

She revealed that their turnover was close to one million last year, and is predicted to exceed that this year. Thus, she registered and got approval from the authorities to include GST for the food.

However, she stated that it is necessary to have a service charge as per the authorities’ regulations. As the authorities doesn’t control the amount of service fees, she decided to charge only 0.1%.

Ms Wu noted that this is in contrast to the average restaurant, which has a 10% service charge.

Additionally, she said that the stalls will waive fractions for bills exceeding $50. For instance, if your total is $50.70, the stall will only charge you $50.

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Featured Image: Shin Min Daily News