Today we were invited to a popular seafood restaurant in the Alentejo to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was not a set price lunch so we went with a ‘kay sa ra’ attitude. What will be will be… I was not organising the lunch so splitting the bill was not my problem for once.
When we go out in a large group I usually take my lead from everyone else. If most people are ordering fresh fish by the kilo then so will I. Equally, if they are ordering simple Portuguese fare at knockdown prices, I do the same. All in all it’s swings and roundabouts: Some you lose and some you win.
Mr. Piglet and I shared a dressed crab and a meio kilo of garlic prawns washed down with copious amounts or red and white wine. Hey, we were dining in a fish/seafood restaurant in the Alentejo so the food was not expensive. Good wine was cheap and it flowed freely… too freely! Hey, and at one point, after I’d lost my inhibitions I could even speak Portuguese.
A jolly time was had by all until the bill came. Even from my end of the table I could hear the sharp intake of breath.
The bill was scrutinized
My God, what a cheek! The restaurant tried to charge us for ten bottles of wine instead of eight, and goodness knows what else.
Of course it was far too complicated to break down and split as to who ate and drank what, so the bill was divided equally between the six couples. Kay sar ra… you win some you lose some…
I’d had enough wine to sink a battleship so to be honest I was way beyond caring until the person sorting out the bill demanded €2 per person for the tip. Woah…Even in my drunken stupor I could still work out this was €24 euros.
“Oh, it’s 10% of the bill,” came the casual reply.
I don’t care you’re having a laugh, I thought!
Fortunately others vocalised their objections and we settled on a few euros.
Some people tip 5% of the total bill and I’m told the Portuguese don’t tip at all. But 10% is way over the top.
Unlike the USA and maybe Canada service charge is not the waiter’s salary. It is a tip for good service. While the food was excellent the service was basic and certainly did not warrant a €24 euro tip.
hApPy BiRtHdAy, flower we had a great time!