Cele Dubrovnik Introduces 300 kn Minimum Spend for Table Reservations

Daniela Rogulj

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The fact is that the owners have the right to set rules, just as guests have the right to agree with something or not, and look for a place where they can sit without restrictions. However, it was precisely restrictions such as booking a table with a minimum spend in the evening that revolted one Dubrovnik local, reports Jutarnji List.

“There were four of us; we wanted to sit in front of Cele for a drink. I looked at the terrace, all reserved. At that moment, guests got up from one table, so I asked the waitress if it is free now. She said no, the table is reserved, but the minimum consumption is 300 kuna,” the Dubrovnik local said.

She was particularly annoyed that four foreigners sat down at the table immediately afterward, and the waitress just removed the reservation sign. “Maybe it was a foreign company that made a reservation,” the source added with sarcasm. 

“It’s not a pleasant feeling when the waitress weighs you and says in such a tone that ‘it’s not for you, the minimum consumption here is 300 kuna’. Worst of all, if the four of us could sit down, we would have had at least four drinks, which would surely have been more than 300. This way, with a sarcastic smile, I just turned around and left. In principle, I would never sit there again.

People are really full of it. I rarely go to the City during the year, and even when I do, I can’t have a drink anywhere. Very rude,” the local added, who noticed the same practice of reserved tables in the surrounding restaurants.

Last year, when there were no foreigners, these restaurants relied on locals, and now that the season has started, they are no longer worthy.

“Will they now wonder if you are from Germany, America, or Austria, so if you are, you can sit down, and the others can’t? God forbid you are Romanian or Czech. Then the local is better. Really funny,” concluded the source. 

Jutarnji asked the owner of Cele, Tomislav Ivušić, for a comment, who said that the principle of booking a table is still a matter of business in a private facility.

“It’s the same everywhere in the world; only Croatians haven’t learned about it. When there is a high demand at night, tables are reserved. You can’t sit at a table with two juices for three hours. We introduced reservations solely because of that, and not to assess whether someone can spend or not,” explains Ivušić and adds that the owner has the right to say that the tables in his facility are reserved. 

“This rule is on weekends after nine in the evening. Depending on where you sit, you can book a table if your minimum spend is 300 to 500 kuna. I don’t know what’s in dispute here? That’s the rule; if it doesn’t suit someone, they don’t have to sit there. You can’t occupy the whole table for 30 kuna for hours because you have learned to sit and watch who passes by on Stradun. That happens nowhere in the world,” Ivušić said.

He was asked if this rule applies exclusively on the weekend.

“Every day is a weekend for us now. After 9 pm, all tables are reserved, and with the reservation, there is a minimum spend,” says Ivušić.

“Why doesn’t anyone comment on how every morning for the last ten years Croatians can enjoy hot drinks for 10 kuna at Cele? And someone is offended because imagine, they can’t sit on Stradun and watch passers-by for three hours drinking tea or coffee?

This is not to belittle someone as a guest. We have such a rule in the evening, and it is normal everywhere in the world. May all of us come to this type of business because only then will we be able to talk about real tourism,” the Dubrovnik caterer concluded. 

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