Dining etiquette, tips, and further information

-Reservations are a good idea, especially during busy meal times or if you are a larger group.

-Most restaurants have a daily menu (poledni menu) during the week, offering very cheap meals, primarily targeted towards workers at lunch.  Menus are almost always only in Czech, but Google translate can help and most waiters are willing to help you translate as well.

-Don’t expect “American” service (smiling, constantly checking in on the table, etc.).  If your beer is near empty waiters will usually be there to offer another beer rather quickly.

-Ask for the bill, it will almost never be brought out automatically.  You might be surprised to see extra charges for things like bread.  If you don’t want to pay for it, don’t eat any of it when they bring it to the table.  However if a restaurant includes a charge for cutlery, a “cover charge”, or any other seemingly unnecessary charges, they are trying to take advantage of you.

-We tip about 10% in the Czech Republic.  It tends to be based on service, good service might get more, bad might get less.  Typically we round up, making sure the cost ends in a “0”.  If you need change back or would like to tip on a credit card, simply tell the waiter how much you want to pay with tip included as you hand them the payment.  *Always give the tip directly to the waiter in person, do not leave it lay on the table.*

-In Prague, people dine out a lot, especially during the week.  Meal times are typical of those in places like the USA, Germany, the UK, etc.  I.e. lunch usually between 11:00 to 13:00, dinner approximately 18:00 to 21:00…

-Prior to taking our first bite, we often say “dobrou chut”, essentially the same as saying bon apetit.