Sat. Sep 30th, 2023


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Man vows never to return to seaside town after waiter chased him over £429 tip

3 min read

A wealthy Italian tourist vowed to never return to Saint-Tropez, a glamorous holiday hotspot on the French Riviera, after being chased down and reprimanded by a waiter for the tip he had left, it has been claimed. 

While the man, described as “very rich” by local media, had thought his tip to be quite generous considering he had left £429 (€500), the waiter that reportedly followed him to the parking lot of the restaurant allegedly told him the money “wasn’t enough” and scolded the tourist for not reaching the “minimum” amount required – £859 (€1000). 

A friend of the unnamed astonished Italian tourist claimed to the French publication Nice Matin: “[He] thought he had been generous by leaving €500, instead he was reprimanded.

“The waiter told him that it wasn’t enough and that he could still make a small effort to reach €1,000 because it was more consistent in approaching 20 percent of the total amount of his bill.”

While it is known the French Riviera is a destination favoured by the wealthy, the behaviour of some restaurants is making the stunning area inaccessible to most people and risks turning away even those who can afford it.

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The French publication also reported a tourist claiming to have seen a restaurant asking clients to spend at least £1,288 (€1,500) per person if they wanted to dine there.

Much like the wealthy Italian, the visitor swore not to return to Saint-Tropez.

Shocking requests from restauranteurs appear to be widespread across the Riviera, as a local businessperson reported to have been given a flyer in Ramatuelle, a town near Saint-Tropez, advertising “premium” tables at a venue for an eye-watering £85,900 (€100,000).

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To be sure the bills and tips at the end of the night are as big as desired, some venues are profiling their guests, a source sensationally claimed to Var Matin, another local news outlet.

They said: “They ask for your name and surname. They check if you are already registered in their profile. Then they take into account how much you have already spent, the beverage you have ordered and so on.”

If the guest is deemed not generous and wealthy enough, the publication continued, these restaurants turn down the booking even if they have tables available. 

Reports of these impossible prices have brought the mayor of Saint-Tropez, Sylvie Siri, to launch an initiative called Sygnal Conso, set to provide restaurants with unique QR codes that will allow customers to easily report “unfair commercial practices”.

From next week, 1,000 stickers showing the code will be distributed to businesses across Saint-Tropez, which will in turn be required to display them.

Ms Siri branded the behaviours of certain local restaurants reported by customers as a “racket” which can end up doing “a lot of damage” to the seaside town.

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