28 Mar, 2024 @ 16:31
1 min read

It IS legal for restaurants to charge a ‘premium’ for tables in the sun or shade, a government in Spain rules – but there’s a catch

A SPANISH government has ruled it IS legal for restaurants to charge a ‘premium’ for tables in the sun or shade, but there’s one important rule that must be followed. 

The Junta de Andalucia warned this Wednesday, March 27, that restaurants could be subject to ‘reports and punishments’ if they do not follow rules about menus, prices, tips, reservations, bills and forms of payment. 

However, they are allowed to set different price points for tables in the sun or shade, subject to one important rule. 

Consumers must be informed before ordering that prices are elevated in these areas. 

They can do so through their menu, price list or any other form of publicity. 

Ruben Sanchez, spokesperson for consumer association, Facua said businesses cannot charge ‘10 euros more’ for a terrace table. 

Nonetheless, restaurants and bars are allowed to ‘charge more for each dish served on a terrace’ as long as this is clearly stated on the price list. 

This means establishments will not be able to charge more for tables with specific views or locations. 

The rules also mean restaurants cannot only offer menus through a QR code, as ‘not everyone has a smartphone able of reading QR codes.’

Sanchez also stated menu pricing also has to be ‘complete’, that is, it must include VAT.

Diners must also be informed of the prices of any products not the menu, ‘clearly and visible’. 

This means verbally telling a diner about the prices is not enough and could be considered illegal. 

The same goes for any food measured by weight. 

Restaurants can also not charge a fee for booking a table. 

If they do, this must be removed from the final bill. 

Sanchez also said that diners must not be obligated to buy bottled water as tap water should be freely available. 

Tips were also mentioned, with Sanchez highlighting the decision to leave a tip was up to each customer, meaning an obligatory added ‘service charge’ is illegal. 

As with QR codes, diners must be discriminated against due a lack of technology. 

Establishments cannot obligate customers to pay only with card.

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