It’s been almost five years since I was dubbed Shawn of the Bread by my friends Anna & Jorge @guitianmayer, due to my continuing battle against the unfair – and illegal – bread/service charges that first appeared on menus in Sevilla sometime around 2010-2012. I was reminded of this yesterday when Lucy @sparkybakewell & I were out for a drink at our new favourite “penúltima bar” and decided to have a snack. And there it was.
Even though we had sent back the unasked for bread basket we were charged 1€ per person for “service”. Well, they tried to charge us. When I explained to the waiter (lovely young woman really, wasn’t her fault) she took the charge off the bill and instead we left the 2€ as a tip. Because that “service” charge never goes to the staff. It’s simply a way of making extra money – illegally – for doing absolutely nothing. Like an admission fee. Not right. And they count on people not knowing it’s illegal, and also that they won’t make a fuss about it. But they never count on me. 😉
The regulations for this are clearly stated here…
Obligaciones de bares, restaurantes y cafeterías
Los servicios no solicitados no se pueden cobrar. Tampoco se pueden cobrar conceptos como, por ejemplo, reservas, cubierto o mesa.