Wednesday, August 1, 2012

French website reveals waiters' tricks to get our money

Paris Cafe - Phtograph by Tim Irving
The garcon isn't a popular figure in France. The French generally distrust waiters and the press are happy to twist the knife. But an article on the French website Rue 69 is likely to confirm what French diners already know, the title is "7 serving tips to increase the bill".

A few examples:
Alexia, a waitress in a "chic brasserie", told the website: "I serve the water regularly so the bottle is finished bang in the middle of the meal, then I suggest another bottle. Almost always, the customer orders."

Another trick of the restaurant trade, says the report, is serving salty snacks with pre-meal drinks to make customers thirsty and serving the occasional glass "on the house" to detain diners at the table if business is slack.

So the next time a waiter offers you a salted peanut........You have been warned.

1 comment:

  1. This post brought up memories of ten weeks riding trains and backpacking through Europe in 1997. Having been twice before I was somewhat familiar with potential dining trip-ups. But in week ten I found myself in Rome, across the street from the Vatican, and ravenous. Knowing full well that a restaurant so close to a famous landmark was a likely rip-off, I scrutinized the advert and menu and asked the waiter questions to avoid unforseen charges. Though the food was pricey, the information seemed honest. At the end of a predictably mediocre lunch. I received a bill with a few surprises, including a 4,000L per napkin charge. At that point I became engaged in a verbal tussel with the waiter who then hid behind a corinthian column with a white bar towel folded over his arm while I continued my discussion with the manager. Earlier in the adventure I wouldn't have bothered to contest it, but at that point I was travel worn and weary of dodging tourist traps, and there was no way I was going to pay even 4,000L for flimsy paper napkins. And I didn't. I do want to say though, this was my only negative dining experience in Italy. All other meals there were utterly delightful, as were the people.

    After lunch I went across the street to the Vatican Museum and wandered nearly alone through the somewhat disturbing but fascinating Hall of Busts & Statues. Among the endless rows of ancient heads I spotted exact look-alikes of both George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

    Eating frango with piri-piri sauce, fries, and salad in Portugal also creates a mouth watering memory. But don't touch the plate of olives and cured meats they place on the table before your meal unless you want it and are willing to pay for it. I already knew this, but Americans are used to bread or salsa & tortilla chips or relish plates that are included in meals. Unless warned ahead of time we're easy targets for pre-meal offerings!



Related Posts with Thumbnails

Google Plusone