Some restaurants in St Tropez are demanding larger tips or flat-out refusing reservations to returning customers.
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Tensions over tipping and dining fees have been cropping up all year.
Some French restaurants in St Tropez are asking customers for thousands of dollars for reservations.
These restaurants are reportedly asking diners for $1,500 per person to $5,000 for a table.
The spread of digital touchscreen payment systems have made asking customers for tips omnipresent. Some businesses may be leaning into tip requests to cover the cost of higher worker wages — and avoid paying their workers more.
While some restaurants are tacking on fee after fee to diners’ bills, such as security charges, card fees, and “administrative fees,” others are trying to secure the biggest dining bills by screening reservations to prioritize higher-paying diners and returning customers.
But this incident may top them all: Some restaurants in St Tropez are reportedly telling customers reservations cost over $1,500 per person to $5,000 for a table, customers told the Nice Matin newspaper, and the Guardian later reported.
Some of these restaurants are also demanding larger tips or flat-out refusing reservations to returning customers whose previous dining experiences didn’t result in high enough bills.
The mayor of St Tropez, Silvia Siri, has started to address these restaurants’ practices. St. Tropez, one of the most expensive places to live in France, is also a popular vacation spot for international travelers and celebrities.
“These practices are odious for the resort, and therefore for our clientele, but also for local people,” Siri told Nice Matin. “We have already been chased out of our flats, and pretty soon we’ll be chased out of our restaurants too – unable to eat out.”
Siri told the Nice Matin paper she would begin talking to restaurant owners and warned that restaurants could risk losing their licenses if they were found guilty of “extortion and organized racketeering” and “illegally compiling databases” of customers.