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"Coperta"

Dublin
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6 posts
12 reviews
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"Coperta"

I am just back from a very pleasant stay in Alghero but I was slightly pissed off with some restaurants and pubs billing policy. When I perused the bill I noticed in several establishments they included a certain charge for "coperta" and when I enquired about this they told me this is for the tablecloth and cutlery and maybe the fake flowers in a small cheap vase on the table. I have never seen this type of nonsense in any other city or country I have visited and I found it irritating as its another unnecessary charge and rip-off. On principle I object to it because nowhere else do they charge punters for these basic items when you order a meal!!

Latina, Italy
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1,773 posts
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1. Re: "Coperta"

The "coperto" is the cover charge or "couvert" in some French and English restaurants. It seems not to be unknown in English-speaking countries. I just found this on Wikipedia for example:

>>The couvert or cover charge has been levied for many years, certainly in English-speaking countries by 1899<<

Dublin
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6 posts
12 reviews
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2. Re: "Coperta"

Thanks, I presume you meant to say it is UNKNOWN in English speaking countries and thats true, I have never heard of it. When i asked her she pointed to the tablecloth!

Dublin
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6 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: "Coperta"

Thanks, I presume you meant to say it is UNKNOWN in English speaking countries and thats true, I have never heard of it. When i asked her she pointed to the tablecloth!

NY
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3,622 posts
95 reviews
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4. Re: "Coperta"

Here is just one of many links explaining it

I especially like the point

"....if you don’t like finding out about cultural differences once you are already here, you need to “do your homework“. Most guidebooks will mention these charges. Every country has its own habits: when you visit you need to adjust to the local way of life"

athomeintuscany.org/2011/…

Sydney, Australia
Destination Expert
for Train Travel
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87,002 posts
13 reviews
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5. Re: "Coperta"

I have found a cover charge at a number of restaurants in English-speaking countries, including the UK.

"Pane e coperto" is part of the way that Italy operates. You can find information about it in any guide book.

Olbia
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602 posts
34 reviews
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6. Re: "Coperta"

The "coperto" is always mentioned in restaurant menus (at the bottom), if it is not you should refuse to pay for it. It covers bread (and service) for which you do not get charged separately. Once you pay for this "coperto" you should not feel obliged to pay any extra money for service or tipping and in any case it is not expected from you. It is a sort of service charge. I am surprised to read that also pubs are charging this coperto.......

Dublin
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6 posts
12 reviews
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7. Re: "Coperta"

Thank you Lilli and the other contributors. This will teach me to look at menus and bills more carefully in future!...lol

cork ireland
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144 posts
156 reviews
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8. Re: "Coperta"

Hello, regarding the coperta. this is charged in most European restaurants and is everywhere in Italy, Many restaurants in Ireland charge a service charge. I do not agree however that one should not tip on top of the coperta. The tip is for the waiter and they depend on it, unless the service is bad I believe a tip should always be given,,,the rate of pay is v small and tips are essetial

London, England...
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2 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: "Coperta"

I am in Alghero right now and just came back from dinner in one of the restaurant in the old city and was shocked by this copperto too. It was 2Eur per person (there were 2 of us). The bill excluding the copperto was 24Eur, so thats approx. 17% of the cost of food. We were planning to give the waitress some tips but decided not too after being charged for this copperto. She also pointed out to the table cloth and cutleries when enquired about this. We were given dry old bread with our meals though. There were no mention of the charge on the menu. We went to a different restaurant for lunch earlier on near the harbour but wasn't charged with copperto. So I guess not all restaurants do that. No wonder the food was much cheaper here, assuming bills will be bumped up by copperto. Something to keep in mind next time eating out to restaurants here.

New York City, New...
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41,092 posts
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10. Re: "Coperta"

If you go anywhere else away from home and expect it all to the be the same as where you live, you will be in for some big surprises. Just read a good guidebook and you will be able to read all about some of these cultural differences so then you don't have to be so shocked.

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