Home News Should Restaurants Charge More For Premium Seating?

Should Restaurants Charge More For Premium Seating?

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People are questioning whether it is legal to charge more for dining in the sun or enjoying better views

Is it fair to pay more for dining at a table in the sun at a restaurant? What about for having a privileged view? Some establishments believe so and have started charging more for customers who want to opt for certain spots. At TVE, we wondered if this practice is legal and if the public is willing to pay that extra in a city like Seville, where there is already much debate on the matter.

When booking a table on the website of one of the many restaurants in Seville, Spain, we found that for an additional 15 euros per person, it is possible to sit at what they call a premium table. Another establishment in the same city charges 10 euros to guarantee a spot on the front line of its rooftop, ensuring “the best views.”

“I don’t think it’s fair,” says a Seville resident to TVE’s camera. “They should announce it in advance,” says another woman when asked about this initiative.

This is precisely what a customer denounced on a tourism portal: the lack of prior information. Her experience at one of the city’s establishments, she says, was “disappointing.” They asked her for the additional 10 euros when she tried to sit at one of the better-located tables on the terrace, something that, she claims, was not indicated on the establishment’s website when making the reservation. “It’s disrespectful to diners,” adds the review.

The importance of informing in advance and clearly

However, according to the cited establishment, this surcharge is indeed indicated on their menus and websites. Something that, as Facua-Consumers in Action points out, is crucial: that information is provided in advance and clearly to consumers of any type of service.

“The key is to have clear and prior information to the customer, and not that when the bill arrives, the views are included. That would indeed be an illegal practice,” explains Rubén Sánchez, from Facua, to TVE.

Establishments use the advantage of being located facing places like the river to charge a premium for enjoying the views. They are high-level restaurants that, for an extra price, also offer some additional services within their private spaces, rooftops, or courtyards.

“Inside, they can charge an extra for certain tables if there is a real added value,” explains Rubén Sánchez about these practices.

In fact, some customers are willing to pay that premium.

“For a specific occasion, I think so,” says a young man interviewed on the news.

“For the views and if they provide something extra in the service, yes,” affirms another woman.

The establishments that apply this surcharge have not wanted to explain to this medium what these extra services they offer consist of, just like the Association of Hoteliers of Seville, which maintains that none of its members have it.

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