European Restaurants

One of the more frustrating parts of Europe is eating in restaurants (which we’ve done a lot of). Here is why:

  • Tipping is not customary, therefore service is not good
  • You have to purchase water (anywhere from $3-$6 for a 1 liter bottle)
  • A medium sized soda/lemonade/beverage can cost up to $8, prices are often not listed on the menu, there are no refills
  • After you’re done you have to flag someone down to ask for a check, which can sometimes take 10-15 minutes
  • If you need/want anything, much waiting is involved
  • You don’t have a specific waiter, it’s a group effort from the entire staff, which contributes to the poor service
  • They charge a “service fee” rather than having a tip system, so you don’t actually get out of paying a tip despite the crappy service, but still have to pay a certain percentage of your bill anyway (10-15%)
  • Sometimes they tack on an arbitrary “cover charge” if you are sitting in an outdoor table, and sometimes they tack it on for no reason at all

Here is a typical receipt from a lunch in Venice.

1 lt water: 4.50 euro
Cover charge: 6.00 euro
Pizza: 7.50 euro
Gnocchi: 12.00 euro
Service charge: 4.50 euro

Total: 34.50 euro (or $42.84 UDS)

First of all, we paid 19.50 euro for the actual food. Second, we paid 10.50 euro in service and cover charges for a 34.50 euro bill. That is 30%, people! Ridic!

This entry was posted in My Opinions, Switzerland, Vacation. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to European Restaurants

  1. Paige says:

    Regarding bullet #2, if you will order a “caraffe d’eau” in France, they will bring you a caraffe of tap water for free. 🙂

  2. Pingback: We’re Home! « an SO of an MIT LGO

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