Tourists charged £3300 for dinner in hummus restaurant – but they ‘should pay more’, says owner
A group of Chinese tourists have been hit with a 3,300 bill after visiting a restaurant in Jerusalem but the owner of the restaurant insists he should have charged them more.
The eight diners at Abu Ghosh restaurant, which is named after the popular tourist town, were stung to the tune of NIS 3,150 ( 630) for main courses (including 30kg of stuffed mutton), NIS 4,000 ( 800) for private hire, NIS 5,900 ( 1,176) for alcohol, and a NIS 1,500 ( 300) service charge despite the fact that the bill said that service was not included.
The restaurant, which seats 300 diners, is far from lavish: it is popular for its cheap and cheerful dishes of hummus and kebabs. The tourists paid the bill at the time, but have since refuted it, saying that they didn t order the alcohol or 30kg of meat and have enlisted the Israel Incoming Tour Operators Association to help fight their corner. But restaurant co-owner Jawdat Ibrahim told the Guardian2 that the bill was justified: I was told they were very important people and they wanted to reserve a special section of the restaurant on Friday night, our busiest day. We provided them with their own bar and expensive drinks and a whole stuffed lamb, which cost me a lot.
They seemed happy and gave us a large tip and then someone put the bill on Facebook! People don t understand of course we have meals that cost $15 but this was special.
The village of Abu Ghosh is popular with tourists Credit: Alamy
Ibrahim claimed that the group stayed for nine hours, and became drunk and rowdy. The truth is that I thought that they should pay much more, since I had no other diners that day, he told Israeli business newspaper Globes3. But Yossi Fattal, CEO of the tourism association, said that the group rented a private room while the rest of the restaurant remained open to the public, and the alcohol had been put out on the tables and was not ordered by the Chinese. He said they stayed for four hours not the nine hours that Ibrahim claimed.
Abh Ghosh Restaurant, where the eight tourists racked up a 3,280 bill Credit: AP/Sebastian Scheiner
The association has since published the bill to illustrate the importance of fair and polite treatment of tourists, said Fattal in a statement.
Tourists are an important sector of the country s economy There may be a billion Chinese, but they may not all be suckers. By behaving this way, we are with our own hands destroying the budding potential of the Chinese market for Israel. These Chinese said they would not be back and would not recommend their friends to visit Israel.
This is what 4,090kg of hummus looks like Credit: Alamy
Jawdat Ibrahim is a bit of a local celebrity: he lived in Chicago for six years, and won $17.5 million in the Illinois State Lottery, then returned to his home country as a businessman and philanthropist. In 2010, he set the Guinness World Record for the world s largest hummus dish, which weighed 4,090kg.
The row continues.
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