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Since the Covid-19 pandemic and with inflation, the situation for restaurateurs is sometimes more complicated and this leads to new business practices, as is the case for example in Barcelona in Spain.
In the Catalan capital, many inhabitants are angry with some restaurants. The reason ? More and more refuse to give a table to single people, both to eat and to have a drink. In the Spanish newspaper The countrya resident talks about his bad experiences:
« On the first terrace where I got a table, a waiter came quickly and told me it was reserved. This was not the case. As soon as I got up, a group of tourists sat down behind me. On the next one, I was told that I would only have 20 minutes. I specified that I wanted dinner, but they insisted that I do so within that time frame. So I got up and at the third and last, already at the end of the street because there were a lot of people, they immediately told me that the terrace was reserved for groups “. Could this situation happen in France, particularly in cities and very touristic areas?
The answer is normally no. In an article from Le Figaro on the rights of customers in the restaurant, lawyer Chrystel Diloy provides the answer: “We cannot prevent you from entering a restaurant because you come to eat alone and you occupy a table intended for 2 or 4 people. There must be a legitimate reason, appreciated by the judges, to justify a restaurant owner’s refusal to make a sale or to perform a service. This is the case, for example, when a customer has a behavior that can disturb the order and the tranquility of the place”. However, it can be difficult to prove the reason for refusal if you are told that there is no more room and you do not stay there afterwards to check it.
See also: is a restaurateur entitled to charge for a carafe of tap water?