People across the city, especially officegoers, had limited options when it came to eating out on Monday, thanks to the one-day nationwide strike by hotels and restaurants to protest the imposition of service tax on all air-conditioned eateries.
Around 25,000 eateries, including cafes, pubs, restaurants and lounges, across Mumbai stayed shut to object to the 12.63% service tax that has been imposed by the central government.
“We were forced to go on strike to convey to the government that the service tax is unacceptable. It is ultimately the consumers who have to bear the burden of this tax,” said Arvind Shetty, president, Indian Hotels and Restaurant Association (Ahar), the leading hotel industry body.
Much to people’s relief, chain restaurants such as Copper Chimney, McDonald’s, Subway, Dominos and cafes such as Starbucks and Cafe Coffee Day, as well as food courts remained open. Ashish Jacob, an engineer who works in Vikhroli, said: “I have to make do with Subway or McDonald’s today.”