Tourists to Los Cabos love the variety of tasty food options available at the resort location. From the freshest seafood right from the ocean to some of the traditional Mexican food favorites, there are plenty of dining options available to every taste and budget.
The issue is, according to some tourists, that not all restaurants in Los Cabos are being transparent about the pricing for their plates in advance of ordering.
Because of this, local officials have been asked to look into the practices of some small restaurants serving tourists in the community. This issue was brought up over a year ago and still may exist today.
Lack of Transparency in Pricing
The issue is that guests at a restaurant should know in advance the price of the food and have the opportunity to decide to eat inside the restaurant, get a to-go meal, or simply choose another dining location.
As an example, a guest visited a small restaurant in a local neighborhood for some tacos and a drink. They were not presented with a price in advance. In the end, they expected to pay what was a reasonable price but were presented with an inflated final bill of more than $20 for the meal.
Scanning the reviews of several restaurants in Los Cabos yielded comments from tourists about being overcharged for meals, not receiving an itemized final bill, or not being able to clearly understand all of the charges on a bill.
One tourist recently went to a popular Los Cabos beach club booked through a well-known restaurant reservation website. According to the customer, they ate six tacos and three shrimp and were charged $250. They claim in their post that they were scammed.
Some said it was their fault for not checking the bill closely enough, while others put the fault directly on the wait staff or even the restaurants.
Adding on Additional Service Fees
Additionally, tourists are uncovering that small restaurants may actually be charging customers over the price stated on the menu when the customer is ready to leave. Some have claimed the charge is for currency conversion, credit card charges, or simply a service charge for occupying a table.
While these charges are common in other places around the world, they are generally stated in advance so that customers are aware of them and can choose a restaurant with full knowledge of the additional service charges.
For example, tourists in Italy are often charged a fee called a “coperto”, which is actually a per-person fee for the bread delivered to the table, whether you consume it or not. While not appreciated by tourists, it is generally well-known in advance.
Impact to Los Cabos as a Foodie Destination
This comes at a time when Los Cabos is becoming even more recognized as a destination location for foodies.
A negative reputation for unethical dining standards can hurt the development of this tourist interest in the community.
The claims of overcharging by small restaurants and tourist cantinas are accompanied by lower satisfaction ratings which would impact the overall dining reputation in Los Cabos.
How to Address the Issue
Before choosing items on the menu, insist upon seeing the price sheet, and take a photo of it with your smartphone. This way, if it does not match at the end of the meal, there is photo evidence of the agreed-upon price.
Be sure to ask about additional fees for currency conversion, taking a credit card, or general service fees upfront. If you do not understand the bill, ask for a clear itemized bill with all charges listed.
If you feel like you were taken advantage of, ask to see a manager. If that does not work, bring up the issue with local officials who are considering new local regulation around the issue.
Several diners have already taken this step, escalating the issue to the Federal Consumer Attorney’s office to investigate their claims.
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