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Spain. He booked a table in a restaurant and didn’t come, he will pay 500 euros

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The man had booked a table at a luxury restaurant in San Sebastian, but he didn’t show up. He got the days wrong. For this reason, he was charged a fine of EUR 510 (approx. PLN 2,300) for breaking the cancellation policy. In response, he filed a lawsuit against the owners of the restaurant, alleging that the rules were not clearly defined. Now the court has ruled that he will have to pay a fine.

The Spanish newspaper El Pais writes about the case. The lawsuit, which the Journal had access to, explained that the customer had booked a table for himself and two others at the two-Michelin-starred Amelia restaurant in San Sebastian for July 16, 2021. Four days earlier, he had confirmed his presence via e-mail. On the morning of July 17, he went to the restaurant to ask again if the table was booked. Then he heard that the reservation was for the night before.

The restaurant manager offered the customer another reservation in two weeks in exchange, but the customer refused. In this situation, in accordance with the regulations in force at Amelia, a fine of EUR 510 was charged to the man’s card for no-show.

In the lawsuit quoted by “El Pais”, the client explained that he slept in the hotel where the restaurant is located. He had previously changed the date of his stay, but had forgotten to reschedule his reservation with Amelia. The man alleged that the restaurant’s cancellation policy was unclear and miscommunicated. He added that the amount debited from his card was, in his opinion, inadequate to what had happened.

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San Sebastián. The court dismissed the lawsuit

Xabier de la Maza, manager of the Amelia group, to which the restaurant belongs, noted in an interview with “El Pais” that the regulations are posted on the website and can be seen before entering the booking system. “We operate a very strict cancellation policy to protect our small business,” de la Maza said.

He added that the penalty is charged to customers who do not cancel or reschedule at least 96 hours before the scheduled visit. – If a customer has a problem, we always charge for the booked menu, but we usually offer them a voucher for the rest of the year, which they can give away as a last resort. If we get along well, we try to negotiate.

The San Sebastian court upheld the restaurant’s position and dismissed the customer’s lawsuit on March 1. – We are pleased. Our system has been approved. This is the basic principle of operation of this place since its opening in 2017 – this is how the verdict was commented on by the daily de la Maza.

Spain. Facua’s position on Amelia

Ruben Sanchez, spokesperson for Spanish consumer rights organization Facua, told “El Pais” that “Amelia’s case is unique because it is not a restaurant that has a guarantee that a customer who cancels a table will be replaced by someone else “. At the same time, he admitted that such a high penalty could be abused.

– The restaurant could have suffered. But does the fact that one of your tables is not occupied really mean a total economic loss? Meaning, will all this food be thrown away? asks Sanchez.

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