One thing that I have increasingly realized living in Prague, is that most Czech people do not expect non-Czechs to necessarily be able to speak their language – many of them recognize what a difficult language it is to learn! But what Czech people do expect is that foreigners should understand, respect and follow their cultural manners and practices.
I have previously written a post entitled ‘Eating and drinking in a Czech Bar-Restaurant’, explaining what to expect in contrast to the UK and elsewhere. In this post, I’m going to expand and illustrate a practice I mentioned briefly in that previous post – something that is quite commonplace in many bar-restaurants throughout the Czech Republic.
When your first drinks order has been delivered to your table, the person doing so will produce a slip of paper, mark it accordingly, and leave it on your table. If you have only ordered normal 0.5 litre glasses of beer, then a simple mark will be placed at the bottom of the slip, one for each beer that has been ordered. If you order small 0.3 litre glasses of beer, then a cross for each one will be put there instead.
If after the drinks have arrived, you then also order food, then the cost of each dish is recorded on the top part of the slip. The slip in this first photo shows that we ordered one main dish for 137 Kc with a side dish for 35 Kc, together with a second main dish for 99 Kc with a side dish for 35 Kc. By the time I took this photo, I was on my second glass of beer. On this occasion, Sybille was drinking wine and was on her second glass, each of which cost 30 Kc.
At the end of the evening when you are ready to leave, saying “Zaplatim prosim” – “May I pay please”, will bring the waiter/waitress to the table to add up your tab. Below is ours from this occasion, duly totted up – the extra 45 Kc was a digestif slivovice. The total bill of 463 Kc translates to around £16.00, a reminder of how ridiculously cheap eating out can be here in the Prague suburbs. But don’t expect a printed receipt – this simple paper slip is all you’ll get!