Swiss restaurant slammed for demanding 2,50-franc spoon surcharge

Swiss restaurant slammed for demanding 2,50-franc spoon surcharge

After restaurants in Switzerland started to implement an energy surcharge on customer bills, to combat rising energy prices, some patrons were outraged by what they saw as unnecessary extra costs when eating out. Now, a restaurant in Canton Zug has added fuel to this fire, after charging a customer 2,5 francs for an extra spoon.

Kerfuffle over dessert at restaurant in Canton Zug

It’s a fairly common occurrence: you’ve just had a delicious meal and are in the midst of the “will they, won’t they” dance around the dessert menu. Finally, after much cautious negotiation, you agree that while those around the table could go for a dessert, no one has the willpower to tackle it alone.

That was the case for a pair of diners at the Raten restaurant in Oberägeri Canton Zug, with the couple ordering one dessert, a Coupe Dänemark, with two spoons. However, once they got the bill, they discovered to their surprise that the restaurant had charged them 2,5 francs for the extra utensil. 

Swiss restaurant wanted to make a point about prices

Speaking to 20 Minuten, restaurant host Iwan Iten said that the spoon policy was designed to “create awareness” around how much prices have increased for restaurants over the past decades. Iten noted that the cost of making a Coupe Dänemark is now two and a half times higher today than in the 1950s, and the salaries he pays his workers are five times higher than 70 years ago. He jokingly concluded that those who didn’t want the charge could “share” a single spoon.

“We understand that restaurateurs have to be creative to pay the bills", noted Thomas Tellenbach from the Lucerne Gastro Association. Speaking to 20 Minuten, he said that while they do not recommend charging extra for spoons, the increased cost of workers, food and energy should be covered by “general price increases.”

Surprisingly, according to Blick, this isn’t the only Swiss restaurant getting creative with surcharges. In Solothurn and Siblingen, some restaurants are charging 3 and 4,5 francs for an extra empty plate, and in Pizzeria Weisses Kreuz in Lucerne, diners found to be sharing a single pizza are charged an extra 5 francs for the privilege.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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