Service Charge in Trinidad and Tobago


The so called better restaurants In Trinidad and Tobago add a 10% service charge then 15% VAT to the prices on the menus. A burger advertised at TT$80 will cost the customer TT$101.20 before the tip. The service charge goes to the owner and does not replace  tips, which are the main source of income for servers. For years researchers have been trying to discover why the service charge is added in Trinidad and Tobago but no legal or logical reason was ever found. This lack of a good reason led customers to believe the service charge came from greedy restaurant owners and not from any higher power.

Ethical behavior is not something you will get from restaurant owners in Trinidad and Tobago and padding bills with service charge is proof of this. If restaurant owners want to charge 10% more they should print the revised prices on the menu. I hope restaurant owners realize soon there will be less expats with expense accounts in the country and owners will not be able to charge what they like. I don’t want restaurants to go out of business and create unemployment but I want owners to realize the boom is over and people are not stupid.


6 thoughts on “Service Charge in Trinidad and Tobago

  1. You know this piece was very hard to read because I kept having to stop and scroll back up to look at the new picture on top, but I’m sure I agree with your sentiments although I may have missed something in the turquoise beads

  2. There’s a blog attached to the header?

    Oh… *scratches head*

    Who’d do such a thing?


    (Great points. I say the same thing myself, which is probably why I try not to eat out too often, belt-tightening not withstanding.)

  3. I agree with you. Does our laws make any mention of this greedy practice of adding a service charge to a bill and then applying tax? Shouldn’t the consumer be the one to determine if the service was good enough the be paying extra for? Most of the time I don’t even leave an actual tip because i have already been charged a service charge.

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