“Do We Eat Outside?” Customer Shocked By RM20 'Seating Fee' at Hotpot Restaurant in KL

A hotpot restaurant in Kuala Lumpur has stirred controversy by allegedly imposing a "seating fee" on its customers.

The issue came to light when a customer shared their experience on the Malaysian Law Forum Facebook group, accompanied by a photo of the receipt showing a RM20 charge for a 'seating fee.' 

This additional fee came as a surprise to the customer, only becoming apparent when settling the bill.

“do we eat outside?” customer shocked by rm20 'seating fee' at hotpot restaurant in klPhoto via Facebook (Wong Ng)

Accompanied by three friends, each of them was purportedly charged RM5 as a seating fee. Although the specific location of the restaurant remains undisclosed, the customer hinted at its proximity to a condominium, noting the sparse crowd during their visit.

Expressing her dismay, the customer highlighted the lack of prior notification regarding the seating fee, questioning whether diners would be expected to consume their meals on the roadside if unwilling to pay.

Drawing a comparison to practices in China, where hotpot restaurants commonly levy seating fees alongside charges for sauces and utensils, the customer expressed confusion over the emergence of such hidden charges in Malaysia.

In China, such practices are subject to scrutiny, with authorities intervening upon consumer complaints. However, the customer lamented the absence of similar recourse in Malaysia, emphasising the perceived infringement upon customers' rights to choice and information.

Concluding her account, the customer urged fellow consumers to consider their course of action upon encountering unexpected charges, urging vigilance and asserting their rights as patrons.