Controversial restaurant rule in Spanish holiday region

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In Andalusia, restaurant guests should be careful: the food at some tables is more expensive than others. (code image) © Moritz Bletzinger/DALL-E

Restaurants in Andalusia are allowed to charge higher prices for so-called “premium tables”. This includes places in the shade.

Seville – 15 euros here, 25 euros there. In Andalusian restaurants, guests should pay attention to where they sit. Because the autonomous community in Spain has a controversial law that allows operators to increase prices on selected schedules. Sometimes these are places in the shade, sometimes in the sun.

Controversial restaurant practice in Spain: extra charge for tables in the shade or sun

“It's disgusting,” one woman told the newspaper Mail. According to his own statement, he reserved a place in the sun, but later sat in the shade. Also: “When we requested a table change, the waiter informed us that these tables would be charged ten euros extra.”

Owner explains: On the website and menu, the sunny seats are labeled “Premium Tables.” Hence, higher prices apply there. This means he is acting legally, but the practice is still controversial. Local media fear spoiling tourists. Portal Xataka writes: “Restaurants in Seville have found a new way to make money from tourists.”

Restaurant fraud in Spain: payment for premium tables is not allowed, but the price is high

This scam is not entirely new to the Directorate of Consumer Affairs. At the start of the Easter travel season on Holy Wednesday, the authority reminded people of the ever-growing illegal practices. This includes: Mandatory notes, reservations for cutlery or bread baskets and bills paid. But the “premium tables” don't cost much. It is legal, but strictly regulated.

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“Companies are not allowed to charge ten euros for sitting on a terrace,” explains a spokesperson for the Consumers Association. Seville newspaper. A table charge is not allowed, such as the Italian “copperto”, but higher prices are allowed in one part of the restaurant.

Tourists should not be surprised by the premium prices

However, unpleasant surprises for customers are prohibited. Premium table prices must be marked “clearly and conspicuously”, for example on menus, price lists or signs. Restaurants that do not comply with the ID requirement risk fees and fines. Verbally informing guests of prices is not enough.

However, in individual cases, authorities find it very difficult to understand. Especially when tourists are affected. (mo)

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