Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
I Never Ordered That!
This is one of the most popular restaurant scams in Cuba, and probably the whole
world. After your meal at a restaurant, you receive the tab and there are a few ex-
tra items on the bill which you never ordered or ate. It's a very simple scam and
preys on the tourist's carelessness and naiveté. Always check your bill at the end
of the meal and make sure there are no extra charges for items which you never
ordered. This is also a common scam in bars and nightclubs.
That's Extra...
This con is particularly popular in state-run restaurants. The menu will list a series
of table d'hôte specials ( ofertas ) which include a main meal, salad, a drink and
dessert, all for one low price. When you make your order, the waitress will inform
you that the menu has changed, and that those items are no longer included in
the table d'hôte, and must be purchased separately . The goal of the scam is for
the waitress to get you to buy all the items separately, and then to pocket the dif-
ference in price between the individual items and the bargain meal cost. Usually,
if you start to complain, the waitress will start talking rapidly, using unintelligible
Cuban slang, in an effort to simply get you to agree to order the items separately
as she originally suggested. Your only options are to ask to speak with the boss
(E l Jefe ) or leave the restaurant and dine at another location. Whatever you do,
never acquiesce to the demands of the wait staff. If a state-run restaurant
changes a menu offering, a new menu will always be printed . Common restaur-
ant workers do not have the authority to change menu prices or offerings. Any
claim to the contrary is always false.
The Boss Isn't Here
As a continuation of the above con, if you ever feel you are being mistreated in a
restaurant, always ask to see the boss ( El Jefe (masculine) or La Jefa (feminine)).
If politely asking does not work, then you might have to be more forceful with your
demands. Raise your voice if necessary. There is always a manager on the
premises . Cuba is one of the most highly bureaucratic countries in the world, a
boss, or multiple bosses, will always be on duty. They usually take their jobs more
seriously than the regular wait staff and will be much more helpful in resolving
your problem. Never accept the excuse that “the boss isn't here.” If simply asking
to see the boss doesn't work, threaten to leave the restaurant without paying or
take down the names and phone numbers of the employees. The boss will soon
Multiple Menus
As mentioned in an earlier section, for all state-operated restaurants, there will
only be one menu per establishment. The food will either be priced in CUC or
Moneda Nacional. In some cases, the food will be priced in MN while the alcohol
Search WWH ::

Custom Search