French Restaurants Filter Customers by the Size of Their Wallets

There’s something fishy going on in the waters of St-Tropez. The mayor of the former fishing village has arrange sanctions on the area’s restauranteurs after some were caught selecting diners by the size of previous bills.

“These accusations are extremely shocking to me because they are unfortunately true,” Sylvie Siri said, adding that she “and the entire council are totally opposed to such despicable practices”, which were “ruining the town’s image.”

Unnamed insiders came forward to say that some restaurants in St-Tropez, an area known for celebrity visitors, had taken to checking customers’ names against their database and refusing reservations if a previous visit was not felt to have resulted in a big enough bill or tip.

One hospitality worker said: “It’s basically: are you likely to splash the cash, or are you small fry.” Confirming what was going on, a local customer said: “If it’s the latter, you simply get told there are no tables free until early September.”

Other staff and diners said that an increasingly common technique was to say there was availability but at a specific price. “They’ll say: ‘Sure, we have a table at €5,000. Is that OK?'” a customer said. Another added that there was a minimum spend of €1,500 or $1,600 a head.

Mayor Siri said that she would be meeting restaurant owners at the end of the season to “remind them of their responsibilities.” Apparently, the malpractice had become so widespread that she had already taken steps to minimize these incidents, including having their late-night licences withdrawn.

Also, in conjunction with the St-Tropez shopkeepers’ association Esprit Village, around 1,000 stickers have been distributed reminding visitors and locals that they should contact the government’s consumer fraud service if they felt ripped off in any way.

“These practices are odious for the resort, and therefore for our clientele, but also for local people. 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,” the mayor said.

Source: https://www.varmatin.com/conso-shopping/dis-moi-ce-que-tu-depenses-je-te-dirai-ou-tu-peux-manger-864455#