Monday, December 6, 2010

Paying the restaurant bill the Swiss way


I was thrilled at the close of our book club’s annual Christmas dinner last night. Not only did I have a blast and enjoy the food, I was impressed with the restaurant staff's ability to keep tabs on 29 individual champagne, red wine, white wine, sparkling water, coffee, and espresso orders.

In Switzerland, it is common for restaurant staff to bring diners all their own separate bills. I am not sure why, but one explanation for this could be that eating out in Switzerland is expensive. Whatever the reason, I think it's great. Being a teetotaler and a low-budget eater, I've often had problems with splitting the bill "per head" and having to subsidize others' heavy drinking habit. Trying to be altruistic, I tend to put in a small or normal order, hoping that everyone else will do the same. Unfortunately, others don't follow suit.

So, I like the Swiss way. There's no awkwardness, and it avoids "But I just had a salad" issues. Thank you staff at Chalet Hotel Hornberg in Saanenmöser. You handled our boisterous group very well.

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