Greek undercover officers crack down on ‘rip-off’ restaurants

Move follows outcry from tourists on social media and TripAdvisor

Helen Coffey
Tuesday 25 June 2019 14:40
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Greek undercover officers crack down on rip off restaurants

The Greek authorities are cracking down on so-called “rip-off” restaurants following numerous complaints from tourists.

The finance ministry has confirmed that around 50,500 raids will be conducted by undercover tax inspectors over the next few weeks, reports The Times.

Many visitors to the Greek islands, which are popular with British tourists, have accused restaurants of failing to offer menus or be transparent with pricing.

Other tourists have complained of being lured in with a “fake” deal to get free access to a sun lounger, only to find it comes with an exorbitant drinks bill.

Undercover officers have already targeted a number of businesses and suspended operations: various Mykonos hotels were closed over the weekend after they were found to have €17,000-worth of undeclared internet bookings.

A steakhouse owned by the “Salt Bae” chef Nusret Gokce was also shut down for 48 hours for failing to issue receipts, which amounted to €25,800 in undeclared profits in just one evening.

Several examples of overcharging on the Greek islands have hit headlines over the last few months.

In May, an American tourist was left shocked after being presented with an €836 (£738) bill for some calamari and beers at a restaurant in Mykonos.

The visitor from Brooklyn shared a picture of the bill from DK Oyster restaurant on TripAdvisor.

“This place is a rip off,” he wrote. “The staff is not honest and refuse to provide a menu and prices. AVOID THIS PLACE AT ALL COSTS! No pun intended.”

The bill shows the group were charged €591 for six plates of calamari, working out at €98.50 per serving.

The restaurant owner responded to the accusations: “I want to tell you from my heart that we value our customers, and we have carefully accounted for the cost in order to produce a product which we consider to be value for money.

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“If you can’t afford them, in order to avoid any bitterness, just opt for the special combo menu – which may not be the most satisfying option, but allows a small glimpse for those who cannot afford the experience.”

The following month, a British holidaymaker’s post about a restaurant in Rhodes that charged £14 for a milkshake went viral.

Vikki Scott was charged €82 for eight soft drinks at The Gate restaurant in Rhodes old town.

She uploaded a snap of the hand-written bill on Facebook, along with a caption warning other tourists to stay away.

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