The most ridiculous restaurant charges

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Eating out can be expensive, but there are times when they seem to be charging you for things which, by all accounts, should be included. He...

Eating out can be expensive, but there are times when they seem to be charging you for things which, by all accounts, should be included. Here's a list of some of the worst practices seen from around the world.

By Karn G. Bulsuk


Yes, I know that restaurants can be cut-throat businesses with high-fixed costs and perishable stock. But some restaurants really take it over the top when, in addition to charging you up to 10 times what it really cost to make that spaghetti carbonara, charge you for anything they can think of. Here's a list from around the globe on some of the worst types of offenders.

No tap water

In most countries, tap water or even tea is an assumed part of the service: you sit down, they bring you a glass for free. In Vienna - where tap water are from pure Alpine strings and is seen as a birthright - a move by cafe owners to start charging for tap water sparked considerable backlash and anger among Austrians.

Unfortunately, in some countries, free water is no longer offered in most restaurants in an effort to force you to buy bottled water, providing restaurants a profit margin of anywhere from 200% and beyond, depending on the pricing.

This is especially endemic in Thailand, where it is rare to have any free water at all. In one particularly nasty pricing scheme, one restaurant was settling a 500 ml bottle of water for 50 baht (USD 1.50) for a bottle of water that cost 5 baht (USD 0.15) to buy: a markup of 1,000%. How's that for excessive profit.

Heating charge

When you go to eat out, you expect hot and cooked food to be a part of the menu. Unfortunately for one dim sum restaurant in China, anything you order incurs an additional "cooking charge". When you go to a restaurant, wouldn't you expect food to be cooked?

It certainly left a nasty taste in my mouth, and I've never been back since.

Sauces and condiments

If you happen to be in Germany and for whatever reason instead of eating local food wander into McDonald's, be prepared to be hit with a ketchup charge with your meal.

If you happen to be having Japanese food at Fuji Restaurant in Thailand and want more than 1 dab of wasabi, sorry, it's gonna cost you.

I even once went to a steak house which wanted to charge you for more butter with your bread.

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Do you guys have any other pet peeves about how the restaurant industry tries to nickle and dime every single penny out of us? Sound out below.




Photo credit: Max



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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: The most ridiculous restaurant charges
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Karn G. Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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