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Traveller livid over bizarre surcharge on takeaway receipt

by nytime
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Most people expect a surcharge or two for specific off-menu requests when dining out, but one traveller says there’s no justification for the bizarre extra cost he found on his receipt while in an Italian tourist hotspot.

A man travelling to the popular European destination of Lake Como from Milan decided to treat himself to a takeaway lunch, where he bought a sandwich, coffee, Coca Cola and bottle of water — each priced individually.

The traveller paid the bill at Bar Pace, in Gera Lario at the lake’s northern end, and then left the establishment. It wasn’t until after that he noticed a strange charge on the receipt that didn’t make any sense, the New York Post reported.

The man was furious after working out what the surcharge was for. Source: TripAdvisor.

“Unbelievable but true” the man posted to TripAdvisor, after noticing the €2 surcharge beside the words “diviso da meta”, meaning to “cut in half” in English. In Australian dollars, the surcharge amounts to approximately $3.40.

Restaurant defends extra charge

The baffling fee was enough for the man to leave a one-star review on the venue’s TripAdvisor page, prompting the restaurant’s owners to respond, defending their decision.

“Additional requests have a cost,” restaurant owner Cristina Biacchi said, per La Repubblica, an Italian newspaper.

“We had to use two plates instead of one and the time to wash them is doubled, and then two placemats.

“It wasn’t a simple toasted sandwich, there were also French fries inside. It took us time to cut it in two.”

Ms Biacchi continued, explaining the customer didn’t bat an eye at the surcharge until after he’d paid. She claims she would’ve removed the fee had the man clarified he didn’t want the sandwich to be cut in half.

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