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Italy - impertinent with Service charge in restaurant

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1. Posted by surfer_xl (Budding Member 7 posts) 7y

we are short of our Italy vacation back. We were totally annoyed with the service fee to eat at the restaurant. It is outrageously expensive: 2 a.m. to 4 p.m. euros per person per table, this cost is only for tablecloths.
How can you avoid these costs? Has anyone of you experience? I would like to once again after Italy, but to spend money for such stupid service I do not in order.

2. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

It's much the same in Sardinia, Sicily and Corsica too.
Just read the smallprint on the menu (in fact it's not normally that small). An alternative would be to buy some bread and cheese, along with a couple of Peroni's - sit on the side of the mountain or on the beach, save a fortune and savour the moment.
Service charges in Italy are just about as compulsory as tipping in North America.

3. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting surfer_xl

we are short of our Italy vacation back. We were totally annoyed with the service fee to eat at the restaurant. It is outrageously expensive: 2 a.m. to 4 p.m. euros per person per table, this cost is only for tablecloths.
How can you avoid these costs? Has anyone of you experience? I would like to once again after Italy, but to spend money for such stupid service I do not in order.

Which restaurant was it?

4. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

Probably about 95% of all the restaurants above cafe status in Italy, I would think!!!!
It's not a rarity - you know.
In Venice (St. Mark's Square) if the band come to your table and start playing, even if you're 1/2 way through your fare, the price for your food and drinks doubles. Just read the smallprint. I love Italy - and have been there so many times, but I rarely eat out. Supermarket food is fresher and so much cheaper.

5. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

There's a blog here which deals with the subject: Italian Restaurants - coperta. There's a link at the foot of the page to a number of restaurants scattered around the country. At least if you go to one of those, you'll know you'll be getting good value for money even if you do have to pay an exhorbitant cover charge.

6. Posted by tway (Travel Guru 7273 posts) 7y

Ah, yes. I remember being shocked at paying for bread. Or for sitting outside.

Culture differences--sometimes they're kinda frustrating...

7. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting tway

Ah, yes. I remember being shocked at paying for bread. Or for sitting outside.

Culture differences--sometimes they're kinda frustrating...

Don't come to Holland then. You have to pay just to look at the menu. J/K...lol.

8. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

And Amsterdam has the stupidest rule of all.... No smoking cigarettes in the bar - oh but you can puff away at skunk and rock all day and night till they close, unless you fall over first. Weird but wonderful (if more than a bit screwed up) place.

[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2009, at 12:28 by Redpaddy ]

9. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting Redpaddy

And Amsterdam has the stupidest rule of all.... No smoking cigarettes in the bar - oh but you can puff away at skunk and rock all day and night till they close, unless you fall over first. Weird but wonderful (if more than a bit screwed up) place.

Yes, I agree with you there. I think smoking should be banned worldwide.

10. Posted by Redpaddy (Inactive 1004 posts) 7y

And so say all of us (sensible people - anyway. So I don't qualify).