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Am I missing something, or was this just rude

Just got back from a wonderful trip to France and ended in Paris.
Stopped in a few cafés and had an experience at one that bugs me.

We sat outside and ordered a few drinks. When she served them she asked for payment which we did. Then noticed that everyone else seated after us were not asked for payment until they were done.....

Posted by
3796 posts

Was it the same server for the other people? Were those people regulars? Maybe the server assumed you wanted only drinks and wanted to pay early so you could leave when you were ready and not have to wait for the check? Did you have multiple rounds of drinks and have to pay after each one? Did you say anything that might have suggested that you wanted to have a drink and then leave thereafter? Did you appear to be in a hurry so server may have thought that she was helping you out? I hesitate to conclude that it was rudeness without any facts other than you were asked to pay when you ordered. Were you there long enough to see that everyone who arrived after you was not asked to pay until after they were done? That would be a long time to nurse a drink so I am wondering if you have multiple rounds and were asked to pay after each one.

Posted by
16894 posts

Even though you have paid, the table should still be yours, with no obligation to order more nor to feel rushed out. Some cafes also have tables divided between those set for a meal and those open for just drinks.

Posted by
8230 posts

I've generally only been asked to pay on delivery when the waiter was going off shift; they usually just stick the bill on the table. Maybe this waiter has been stiffed in the past by tourists and so makes a habit of asking for the payment on delivery when she or he doesn't know the patrons?

Posted by
93 posts

We didn't feel like we were being rushed at all, and it was around 4pm. Most others were drinking. Just felt like we were being profiled! LOL We have had rude wait staff in Paris before. We usually high 5 each other and check it off to the Paris experience, then move on and put our money in another cafe.... They seemed pleasant, maybe not trusting..
As a side note. Stopped in at le deux magots one afternoon, and were treated wonderfully. I had my first hot chocolate in Paris... Oh my... I felt like I needed to smoke a cigarette afterwards. It was that good, and I don't smoke!

Posted by
2393 posts

Regardless of the circumstances it does not feel good to be singled out and treated differently. Perhaps she was just in a mood! You have a great attitude...brush it off.

Posted by
321 posts

Yo- I would have left her a tip !!! Waiting (and waiting and waiting... )for a check is one of my pet peeves....

Posted by
7209 posts

Yes, consider yourself lucky that you didn't have to wait and wait to get the check. I wouldn't think anything about it at all.

Posted by
2393 posts

I have learned to ask for the check in half a dozen languages. When we are done we politely get our servers attention and request the check in the appropriate language. Works like a charm.

Posted by
8230 posts

Most places you don't get the check until you ask for it; cafe for drinks are different as they usually just put it on the ashtray.

Posted by
2466 posts

You were right - you were "profiled".
This happens frequently in quite a few cafes that are owned by the same company in the Marais and other neighborhoods - you can recognize them by the identical decor: white subway tiles, numbered bottles lined up on shelves, similar menus, waitstaff hired for their looks, not brains, poor service and higher than average prices.

La Favorite across from Metro St Paul is famous for doing this to people they believe are tourists - even if they speak French. Put it down to the waiter being very inexperienced, lots of kids and beggars in the area who run by and pick up money off tables, and just plain poor management. This place was bought, renovated and ruined a few years ago - used to be a favorite local hangout, but no more.

Oddly enough, St Regis on Ile St-Louis is owned by the same company, but the waitstaff has been there for years and goes out of their way to make everyone feel welcome.

Posted by
93 posts

this was La Favorite De Sam on Rue de Turbigo (near Place de Republique). Just across from our hotel (hotel Paris France, which was very nice by the way). I just wanted to see if my feelings were valid. Thanks all for your input. Hey you can get treated this way just about anywhere right? LOL

Posted by
93 posts

I'm always amazed by the knowledge, experience and helpfulness on this forum. Thanks all!

Posted by
1340 posts

Having lived in France and traveled there many, many times---I actually find it quite common in a cafe or on a terrace to be asked to pay when you get your drink. If you were ordering a meal, that would be out of the ordinary---but this isn't shocking to me.

The only strange part is you being the old one asked to do so. Perhaps they also pigeon hole Americans as liking fast service.

Posted by
2466 posts

Favorite de Sam is owned by the same corporation - you really know how to pick 'em, YoPauly!
The managers who work for them are only interested in turning tables - they prefer that tables be occupied by people who will eat or drink alcohol, but the waitstaff definitely lacks finesse.

Posted by
10355 posts

Just finished a week in Bordeaux where every cafe had us pay when we were served, DH is a native French speaker, so either that's the way they do it down here or maybe it was his Parisian accent.

Posted by
93 posts

Hahaha Chex! Well it was right across from our hotel. We just wanted to rest our feet for a little while and have a drink. It looked inviting. Ah well, It didn't ruin my day. They just didn't get any more of my Euros!

Posted by
9436 posts

Bets... interesting to hear your experience in Bordeaux all week was the same as Yo Pauly's.