DC Attorney General (AG) Brian L. Schwalb, this week issued a Supplemental Business Advisory on restaurants’ legal obligation to adequately disclose all fees – including service fees – to customers.
According to the AG’s office, given the recent increase in consumer confusion over restaurants’ fees, the advisory builds on the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) previous consumer alerts by including examples of compliant and non-compliant service fee disclosures, as well as illustrative menu disclosures. As with previous guidance, the Advisory is designed to help restaurants comply with the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act (CPPA) and help consumers understand their rights.
Diners are frequently confused by vaguely labeled fees that appear on their restaurant bills and should be able to make fully informed decisions about how to spend their hard-earned money before placing their orders. District law requires restaurants to disclose any fees in a timely, prominent, and accurate manner. Today’s guidance, developed in collaboration with industry stakeholders, aims to strike the right balance of supporting DC’s vibrant restaurant culture by further educating restaurants on how to comply with the District’s consumer protection laws while increasing transparency and fairness for patrons. – Brian L. Schwalb, DC Attorney General
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Courtesy – DC AG