Singapore — Should customers bear additional costs for eating utensils when they dine-in at restaurants? One woman did not seem to think so, after learning that her daughter was charged an additional $.50 for chopsticks, to the point that she is now considering lodging a complaint with the Consumer Association of Singapore (CASE).

A woman, Ms Chen, said that her 26-year-old daughter ordered barbecue at a restaurant on Prinsep Street, at Bugis, where she shared a meal with her colleagues on Nov 6.

The chopsticks came together with a utensil pack that included chopsticks, a spoon, tissue, and a toothpick, which diners had no option of refusing.

As each chopstick set cost $.50, the daughter and her colleague were billed $1 along with their food order. But seeing no other option, they paid the additional fee.

After she discovered that she was being charged an extra amount for the chopsticks, she told her mother about it.  

Shin Min Daily News said in a Nov 14 Facebook post that Ms Chen then called the paper’s 24-hour hotline to talk about the additional charge.

She is quoted in mustsharenews as saying, “After all, when you order takeaways, chopsticks and spoons are all free.”

Mr Lee, the man in charge of the eatery, told Shin Min that the wooden chopsticks are imported from China and are of high-end quality.

He added that the restaurant, which is unnamed, only recently began charging an additional fee for the utensils, after its renovation a few months ago.

However, he also said that if diners drop their chopsticks accidentally, these are replaced free of charge and that there have been no complaints about the additional charge so far. /TISG

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