Here's Something: Table Service Charge

Ceviche

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Although I have not seen "cubierto" in other restaurants outside Argentina.

Other restaurants just charge a 10% service charge which is optional.
 

ElQueso

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Used to be just about every place I entered had a table service charge, when I came in 2006. I remember there was a lot of discussion about why on another forum I was on. It seemed that over time the number of restaurants charging it reduced significantly. Now it's making a comeback.

It seems so strange to me that a country has to have a law permitting this kind of behavior - it's like everyone (except expats and a few others) says "oh, if it's a law, then it makes sense and I won't bitch." It also seems strange to me that owners/managers wouldn't put the price of the bread and washing the silverware and dishes and such into their overhead and not even worry about such picayune issues as charging each person a cover.

What it seems like is government getting together with restaurants (whether actually working together or not) and creating a way for restaurants to charge a little more in times of inflation so that their "prices" don't go up so much.

Minimum consumption is a completely different story. I know the guys who own a very popular bar here. They have a cover charge which is actually minimum consumption - whatever you pay for the cover is taken off your bill. If they didn't do that, they'd have people coming in and occupying seats/space and not buying anything. It makes perfect sense.

The table per-person cubierto doesn't, on the face of it.
 

Redbeanz

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I think at Las Lilas, they know they could charge an extra $100 just for walking in the door, and the people who want to go there will pay, no problem.
 

bradlyhale

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Las Lilas in Puerto Madero chagres $50 per person, and you need reservation to get in.
Generally is about 10%, not 10-20 pesos.

50 per person for the servicio de mesa? Maybe in Puerto Madero...

10% is the recommended tip, not the servicio de mesa/cubierto.
 

Montauk_Project

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If it is not printed on the menu, you don´t have to pay it. They cannot charge you anything if not on the menu or printed, same if there is a mistake. I only fought once when I went to a restaurant that advertised a set menu. My husband and I had exactly enough for two menus and a tip, but when the bill came we saw the cubierto. called the manager over and told him that we weren´t paying because it was not on the sign that advertised the price and we didn´t want to not leave a tip. We had no problem.
I think this has caught on because it is away to raise prices to keep up with infliation withotu reprinting menus. That being said, we always prefer places that don´t charge it. If you don´t like it just call the manager over, show them the law and that is it. I doubt they have celiac bread!
 

Rich One

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Although I have not seen "cubierto" in other restaurants outside Argentina.

Other restaurants just charge a 10% service charge which is optional.

Well the servicio de mesa has existed in some restaurants here, for over 10 years , as i experience it.
In bars and pubs where there is a live show or strippers there is a minimum consumption per person.

In many other countries I have experienced this minimum charge per person, specially when there is a live show...!
 

Ceviche

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Well the servicio de mesa has existed in here some restaurants for over 10 years , as i experience it.
In bars and puibs where there is a live show or strippers there is a minimum consumption per person.

In many other countries I have experienced this minimum charge per person, specially when there is a live show...!

live shows are rare though. Not run of the mill, really..
 

rrptownley

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There are certain requirements that need to be fulfilled in order to solicit a servicio de mesa.

La normativa indica que los comerciantes que incluyen ese cargo deben poner a disposición de los clientes los siguientes productos:


1) Un mínimo de 250 centímetros cúbicos de agua apta para el consumo, por persona.

2) Un producto de panera apto para celíacos o libre de gluten.

3) Sal modificada, libre de sodio como opción a la sal tradicional.

4) Pan tradicional y/o dietético a elección del ciente.

En el Artículo 2° de la mencionada ley además se establece la "prohibición del cobro del denominado 'servicio de mesa', 'cubierto' o cualquier otra denominación equivalente, a menores de 12 años de edad".

En tanto, en el Artículo 3° se indica que "es obligatorio para los comercios que se encuentren alcanzados por el Artículo 1° de la presente ofrecer, como mínimo, la opción de un plato apto para celíacos, de consumo seguro, manipulado exclusivamente con utensilios que no tengan contacto con alimentos con TACC (rotulación para la comida libre de gluten).
http://www.infobae.com/2013/11/24/1526044-que-debe-incluir-el-servicio-mesa-que-cobran-los-restaurantes
 

Crema Americana

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What did the waiter say when you brought it to his attention? Just a shrug of the shoulders?

Prices go up suddenly here and often... maybe this is just this restaurant's way of keeping menu prices the same on the card, but charging more. Next time you go see if anything changes.
 

rpkerston

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THANK YOU - EVERYBODY !

My main point is not whether it's affordable (and, actually, it is... for me) but simply the fact that it had never been charged there, before (I'd been there before 12h00, the day before, as well as @ 12h30 as well as between 14h30 & 16h30... I usually go shortly after noon or in mid-to-late afternoon, and have been there almost 10 times, now...

I had originally thought I'd come home, read these replies FIRST... and THEN decide whether or not to ever go back there, again... but I was hungry, today, and so I dropped in: Nobody whom I'd already gotten to know on the waitstaff was working, there, today...

I ordered and ate EXACTLY what I had there the last time (when this instance occurred, last week) and I also went at EXACTLY the very same time, again.

THIS time, the person waiting on me was a man whom I'd seen there, before, but he had never waited tables in my presence. The 3 regular waiters (and the more usual cashier) seemed to not be working, today (although the regular cook was).

I was NOT charged the table service charge this time - and the items and timing were identical to the previous occurrence, except for the day-of-week. There are some local restaurants, here, which charge different prices depending upon which day of the week it is ('tenedor libre' menu, however) and this is based upon supply-and-demand and makes perfect sense to me and probably to anybody; however, THIS place has a set / fixed menu, posted in the window, and it has NO advertising, anywhere, regarding the table service charge. Now, that I know the menu's particulars and what I like that they offer, I usually order there without any use or benefit of the menu. I did that last time as well as today. I also already know the prices... and I check if they've changed from the window. Nothing in THIS place has gone up since I arrived in early October. ANOTHER very nearby restaurant has increased their prices but not this place.

Every other thing about today was identical to last week's incident - but as with every OTHER time when I'd ever been in there before the last time... there was NO TABLE SERVICE CHARGE today.

NOW: I THINK the waiter was really simply trying to pull a fast one on me...

As I originally stated, I have the capacity to make myself very well understood, in Spanish, but my limitation comes at the point of arguing... so what I got in response was more or less a 'shrug of the shoulders' - yes - but I couldn't press my point at the time... or, at least, I felt that I couldn't.

So, NOW, I think that if / when I return, again, in future (and I probably will because I pass the place usually once or twice, daily, at minimum... and it's in the centre of town by the train station, here...) I will either avoid that waiter, or I WILL BRING IT UP WITH THE MANAGER, next time.

I just wasn't sure if I had the right idea about it, so I wanted to check with all of youse!

MUCH OBLIGED,

Paul
 
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