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This is not OK...

Paris, France
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6,833 posts
118 reviews
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This is not OK...

This weekend, a brand-new, deluxe patisserie opened up right next door to my neighborhood cafe (Cafe Pouchkine, for anyone who's interested and into pricey Russian pastries).

Since this place has no available seating, and only sells "to go", guess what happened next?

Yep, a large group of tourists plopped down on the cafe terrace right next door, boxes of pastry in hand, and proceeded to munch away, ordering one coffee and many glasses of water.

My favorite waiter was having a very hard time dealing with this, and spent most of the weekend shooing people away.

Folks, this is not OK.

(I know Rick says it is, and maybe it works on rue Cler, but no place else I know of)

You should ask, first - before you sit down. Some places will permit it, but most will not. Everyone should order something to drink (besides a free glass of water), and don't ask for forks, plates, napkins.

Think about it - would you bring your own lunch to a restaurant?

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Victoria, Canada
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107 reviews
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1. Re: This is not OK...

I wouldn't do that at home ,, in fact I don't know anywhere it would be acceptable to do this.. Its so simple, one cannot consume food in a place that serves food when the food was purchased somewhere else..

Are people really such oafs.. it amazes me!

Poor waiters probably are getting frazzled and when they tell this type of rude tourist to move on they are likely being labelled the rude ones!! disgusting

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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2. Re: This is not OK...

I can sometimes be acceptable. For example, when we stayed in the small village of Sablet, the village bar did not sell croissants. They were entirely happy for us to buy croissants from the boulangerie, order coffee from the bar, and sit at one of the bar's tables to have both. But we asked first.

On the other hand, we were taken aback in Chinon at the rudeness of a group of people who turned up with their own food, sat at tables set for lunch, and expected to get free glasses of water. The waiter was incredibly polite to them.

Metro Vancouver
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3. Re: This is not OK...

In Vancouver I have seen customers from Tim H sit down at the terrace of an other establishment next door, as T H is either too cheap to pay the city for the right to have a terrace or doesn't even know what a coffee terrace is used for.....

Starbucks is not a restaurant, but they do sell food, including sandwiches, wraps etc. and I have seen people buy a coffee only, then eat their own food and monopolize a table for hours on end...For the heck of it I have asked some of these rude people if I could share the table with them and they were not happy...

Then there are the people--mostly young but not always-- that go to a big chain bookstore, take a pile of books and magazines, sit down at a table or on the floor, and use the books and magazines for hours as research material for whatever study they do...then they walk away leaving them lying where they worked.

Granted, I don't like the owner of that bookstore chain at all, and the several staff get a steady job re-shelving books and magazines..but still!

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103 posts
7 reviews
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4. Re: This is not OK...

In general, I do not bring food from one restaurant to eat at another restaurant. This is true whether I'm at home or abroad. I just think it's poor manners, personally.

The ONLY time I think I've seen this (and in my judgment, acceptable) is when you might see a mom or a dad with a small child who just wants to eat McDonalds or some other fast foodish type, and they will bring the kid's meal the a restaurant and the parent will order a full meal from the restaurant they're sitting at. Mind you, this isn't usually at a really nice place, but I have seen it done.

My goodness, and people wonder why they get the treatment they do abroad sometimes!

Lords Valley...
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1,731 posts
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5. Re: This is not OK...

...and then they leave their mess on the table for the waiter to clean up. In similar situations in the states, I've seen signs that say "No Outside Food Permitted."

United States
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9,417 posts
263 reviews
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6. Re: This is not OK...

yep they leave the mess...see this all time...and it is parents teaching their kids this is how it is done...

Destination Expert
for Paris
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19,170 posts
153 reviews
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7. Re: This is not OK...

Not only is this behaviour not ok (as anywhere), but the rude folk who do that usually know it, too.

The chic Café Pouchkine, despite its name, sells fancy French pastries that could never qualify as Russian no matter what they call 'em. Only exception are the Russian perojkies ..though shrunk from their normal size into two-bite canapés and sold for a few euros each, making them the most expensive basic perojkies ever, in my experience.

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12,881 posts
12 reviews
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8. Re: This is not OK...

Oh my word! God bless the waiter who can be polite in this instance.

Chicago, Illinois
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27,180 posts
85 reviews
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9. Re: This is not OK...

These boorish clods know full well that what they are doing is, well, boorish.

Years ago I watched a cafe owner in the US handle this when a group of young people came into his place for lunch and two of the people in the group each ordered a cup of coffee and then pulled out their own sandwiches. He walked over, picked up the coffees, poured them into the sink by the bar, handed them their money back and ordered them out of his cafe saying 'this is not a picnic grounds'. He didn't have much trouble after that with this abuse of his business.

Hope the business owner gets this under control quickly.

Paris, France
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25,245 posts
32 reviews
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10. Re: This is not OK...

When I was very young, many village cafés along "holiday" roads woud have signs saying "on peut apporter son manger" (you can bring food in). You were expected to ordering things to drink, but it was okay to bring in sandwiches or even a picnic basket, because these little cafés didn't sell food anyway. This had pretty much disappeared by the end of the 1960's. However, as mentioned above, there are still plenty of village cafés that absolutely do not mind and will even encourage you to get your breakfast items from a nearby boulangerie as long as you are ordering your coffee from them. In fact, the last time I was in downtown Chamonix which is not at all a village, the quite large café that I had chosen sent me across the street to buy croissants when I wanted to order some.

This does NOT happen in Paris.