Restaurant Cover Charges

victoria

Registered
Is it the norm for a restaurant to charge a "cover charge" for a reservation? I called the Taj Mahal restaurant to see when they opened and they suggested a reservation (for an 8:00 sitting!).

Upon opening the menu, we saw a six peso "cover charge" per person for having made reservations. I asked the manager about it, just to make sure I understood correctly.

He claimed it was a city regulation that he must follow.

Now, it's a measly amount of money but no other restaurant I've been in has this policy. Plus, I thought it was ridiculous for the manager to suggest reservations when we were virtually the only people in the place that early.

Any one else encounter restaurant cover charges?

p.s. The food was good but the service was very poor.
 

jp

Registered
Plenty of places charge it, but they're usually cheaper restaurants, and its supposed to cover the cost of the bread and tablecloths I guess. The waiters don't get a peso, so its not a substitute for a tip.

First I've heard of it being a "city law" - sounds dubious, but not impossible. He might just have not wanted to admit that they were charging each diner 6 pesos for a stale bread roll.
 

Mano Negra

Registered
Virtually every restaurant we go to charges a cover, ranging from a couple of peso up to the 20's for a higher end restaurant.
At Taj Mahal, it's particularly worth it as the "stale bread roll" is infact freshly baked naan with a variety of sauces, that are all delicious!
 

jp

Registered
:D

Fair do's meant no disrespect to the good people at the Taj.

I can't remember ever having paid a cover at a decent restaurant, only really get stung in the micro-centro "menu ejecutivo" places for the dubious privilege of a basket of bread/rocks.
 

mini

Registered
Yes, expensive restaurants certainly do charge covers. In fact, I've found most places that charge covers are expensive and the cheap places don't. I guess it depends what you think is cheap/expensive. But I always find it fun how people's experiences are so different. :D We live in parallel worlds.

I'm sure the "city law for reservations" is something he's made up. I always find it strange that reservations are only taken for places up til 9 o'clock. What's the point? Usually if I go before 9 I can get a table. It's after 9 that a reservation would be necessary.
 

Napoleon

Registered
It sounds like some people are confusing:

"Charging for a reservation" with "Charging cubierto"

They are different. The stale bread vs fresh naan should have nothing to do with "Charging for a reservation".
 

Mano Negra

Registered
Miles Lewis said:
Virtually every restaurant we go to charges a cover, ranging from a couple of peso up to the 20's for a higher end restaurant.
At Taj Mahal, it's particularly worth it as the "stale bread roll" is infact freshly baked naan with a variety of sauces, that are all delicious!
Time to eat my hat, it's actually Tandoor that has the great naan. If the charge is just for making a reservation and it doesn't apply if you haven't, it's terrible!
 

esllou

Registered
if they apply a cover charge to a reservation that they suggested, that's sneaky in the extreme. I went there few nights back...underwhelmed.
 
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