Bavarian frustrates customers with adding ‘industrial service charge’ to bills

A diner has been puzzled by a strange surcharge on his receipt.

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

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

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

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

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

It amounted to about five percent of the $112 bill.

“Can someone explain what the industry service charge of $5.35 is? Haven’t I seen this hidden gem before? the diner said.

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

Others asked “is this legal?”

In very fine print, The Bavarian’s menu includes a list of its many and varied surcharges.

These include credit card fees, a 10 percent “discretionary charge” for groups of 10 or more, a 10 percent surcharge on Sundays, and an additional 15 percent on holidays.

There is no mention of an “industry service charge”. However, the menu states that a “5 percent service fee applies Monday through Saturday.”

According to the Queensland Government Office of Fair Trading, surcharges in restaurants are perfectly legal as long as the additional percentage is displayed “prominently, clearly and transparently”.

But some online questioned why it would be necessary to add a surcharge for six days of the week.

“A daily service fee? Why not raise prices 5 percent and lower the Sunday surcharge!?” one asked.

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

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

“My opinion is that if there is no way around the fee, it should 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 percent service fee Monday through Saturday and more if you use a credit card to pay. What a scam,” wrote one.

Another customer said that the daily surcharge made them so angry that “from now on I will go elsewhere on principle”.

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