Man’s ‘Dog Act’ In Italian Café Sparks Debate

Trouble in Tuscany...

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A coffee shop in Italy has been fined €1,000 after a customer was shocked by the price of his decaf espresso, and complained that the price of his drink was not displayed behind the bar.

It’s usually tourists who get fined in Italy over their coffee blunders and flouting of urban regulations, but this time, it’s a café. The Ditta Artigianale, a fancy café in Florence, Italy, has been fined €1,000 because a customer called the police over the surprising price of his decaf espresso coffee.

The man called police after being charged €2 (AU $3) for his coffee. His complaint was based around what the coffee shop owner calls an outdated law, which “must be changed.” That law? The price of coffee must be displayed on a menu behind the counter.

Francesco Sanapo, the owner of Ditta Artigianale said the vast majority of bars and restaurants would easily “fall foul of [this law]” and defended his coffee’s pricing, explaining it comes from a small plantation in Mexico and is very carefully made by his team of award-winning Baristas.

He also said this customer’s drink involved a water extraction process. On top of that, Sanapo said that the price of the coffee could be seen on a digital menu. On social media, opinion was split as to who was in the right. Various Facebook users called the police-calling-customer a miserable bastard (or words to that effect) who needs to chill out.

A few choice comments along these lines include: “He ordered a Decaf espresso. He should actually be the one fined €1000” and “If he tried to buy a coffee in Switzerland he would probably have heart failure.”

“If this customer went to London he’d get the FBI involved.”

Others came to his defence though. One Facebook user wrote: “Not everyone is digitally able and I don’t use my phone as a second thumb. I would greatly appreciate an accurate and complete price menu behind the counter.”

Another said: “The point is neither the quality nor the freedom of price, but the obligation (or not) to display a price so that the customer can choose whether to consume or not to consume, given that the price in particular was above the average.”

According to The Guardian, “In Italy, the average cost of an espresso is €1, although more than 70% of bars increased prices earlier in the year due to supply chain issues and poor harvests. Consumer groups warned that the price of an espresso could rise to an average €1.50 this year.”

Oh, the humanity.

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