Saturday, May 5, 2012



Never order without seeing the menu unless you have extra money to burn. Personally, I like to demand my check with the food. If something is brought to the table, ask how much it costs and send it back if you didn't order it. Otherwise, you will get stuck paying.

There are three ways of handling this:

1. Gladly part with your money for whatever they feel like putting on your table you didn't order.
2. Argue about it afterward. This is an uphill battle and you won't always win it.
3. Go through the question answer session with it.

Customer: "What is this? I didn't order it." [Note, don't just ask what it is, they'll just say 'bread' and leave it at that.]
Waiter: "It is bread."
Customer: "Since I didn't order it, I must ask is it free?"
Waiter: "Ah, no sir."
Customer: "Then take your bread and fuck off with it." [Note, if your food is still in the kitchen you might want to phrase this in a polite fashion or your food will have interesting 'extras'.]

You can scale your own variant to your personality. I dislike getting cheated and it shows. This can go for pretty much anything - bread, rice, wet naps, and so on. It is mostly a European restaurant rip off scam but I have encountered it in Asia. It is always better to preempt them doing this rather than thinking the police (or some sort of code of ethics) will pull you out of it. In most parts of the world the police are extremely corrupt and useless.


These may not be charged to you regardless if you find them on the menu or not. Together, these can add a whopping 25% onto the bill. The restaurant may or may not pay VAT to the government. They may or may not pay the service charge to the staff.

Essentially, it is all a big scam to get more money out of you, the customer.

The only time it makes a big difference is when you either have an expensive bill or are poor.

Arguing it afterward is an uphill battle that has the potential of having the corrupt and useless police called in and even if they aren't, they may still try to get you to pay. The only real options are to check in advance by asking "Do you charge service charge or VAT?" Asking in other manners may get you a less than honest answer.


Eat where the locals do. Other tourists simply don't count. Most tourists will be eating at this restaurant for the first time. Locals eat where the food is cheap and good. Tourists eat where the food is expensive and may give them diarrhea.


Always take a business card for whatever restaurant you are offered. You can always throw them out later. Not taking a business card may mean you are unable to easily find that restaurant again.

1 comment:

  1. Really good advice... I often find myself forgetting to stay on my toes when I sit down to eat, and have been in similar uncomfortable situations when I find that I've started to eat something I didn't order.



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