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Apr 14, 2011 09:31 AM

When I had my last sip of coffee, the waiter handed me the bill....

That was in Cafe de Paris, Monte Carlo, three weeks ago. We were there for lunch. I know, I know, it is such a tourist trap, but my wife wanted to be there to people watch. The quality of food was decent. Just as I finished my coffee, the waiter handed me the bill. I was mildly irritated. Just wondering, is it a growing trend here in France (or Europe)?? Finally, something they learn from us... ;o))

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  1. That happens infrequently, but I've experienced that a couple of times.

    It is definitely a no-no in restaurant etiquette on the part of the restaurant management. It is considered rude to bring a check without being asked first.

    When that happened to me, I categorized the behavior as unprofessional and never went there again.

    But then, it was Monte Carlo...

    1. "Just wondering, is it a growing trend here in France (or Europe)?? Finally, something they learn from us... ;o))"

      Haha, I laugh somewhat bitterly.
      Let's not hope so.
      I agree with Ptit it is not pro and is very rare.

      1. It is uncommon, but there is one exception. When the waiters change shifts they often cash up all their tables before they hand over to the next person. This could have been the reason.

        8 Replies
        1. re: PhilD

          That is case for many informal cafes when there is a shift change, but that should not happen at Cafe de Paris.

          1. re: PhilD

            True, but in that case the Miss Manners of café waiters says:

            "When you have to change shift, go to your patron's table and say so, explaining that you have to cash up before your colleague takes over."

            In other words, when you have to leave, explain the matter to the customer before you slam the bill on their table. That is usually done, and only in cafés. Not in restaurants properly speaking.

            1. re: Ptipois

              It was a Saturday and the place was swamped with tourists. I seriously doubt if there was a shift change. They just wanted to have a quick table turnover, and non-French customers like us got the bills without asking. I have traveled widely in France for over 20 years and this is the first time that happened. Really not a big deal, since we're on vacation, I did not let this ruin my vacation mood. But next time, I will convince my wife to go to Huit et demi instead! ;0)

              1. re: morganwong

                "It was a Saturday and the place was swamped with tourists."

                Cher Morgan, it's Monte Carlo. Even the natives are tourists ! Except maybe the Grimaldi.
                The umbrella story is funny. Last time we were on the Riviera, we actually went to Monte Carlo to stay out of the rain, and spent a great morning in the Jacques Cousteau oceanographic museum, which I recommend to all.
                Otherwise I tell people to skip Monaco entirely, an eyesore on an otherwise beautiful coastline.

                1. re: Parigi

                  Hey, I learned to swim in the public sea-water olympic pool in Monaco when I was 6 years old! While my mom was flirting with one of Cousteau's divers. And I made friends with a baby tiger named Otto (wonder why) at the Monaco zoo. And there's also the botanical gardens. Monaco ain't all bad. At least the old town (le Rocher) was really cool back in the 60s.

                  Seriously, I think that now the Musée Océanographique is by far the best thing there.

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    Great story re your mum and the diver...
                    Alas, Monaco in the 21st century is like a cleaned-up, unimaginative, unfunky Hong Kong.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      Though if you fly, you still have the wonderful heart stopping landing at Nice. But not as great as the lets-look-into-people's-living-rooms-as-we-skim-over-their-appartment-building rush that you used to get at flyining into HK's old downtown airport.

                      1. re: vielleanglaise

                        Sigh, the old Kaitak airport. You didn't look into people's living room. You watched their tv !

          2. Pretend it didn't come and continue on with your business...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Busk

              We stuck around a little while, then it started to rain. SInce we did not bring an umbrella, we bought one from the souvenir store next door for 45 Euro. Ouch!! When we opened it, we saw this tagline on the umbrella - 'and you thought it never rained in Monte Carlo'!!

              1. re: morganwong

                Probably the only real fun thing that could be found in MC.

            2. Bad waiter, bad bad waiter !

              Just don't go back there, I know I wouldn't.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rio Yeti

                Thanks for all the reassurance everyone. Really appreciate!