Eight Chinese tourists managed to spend more than $4,000 at a hummus restaurant in Jerusalem and the Israeli Foreign Ministry is now searching for them to find out if they were ripped off.
Abu Ghosh restaurant owner Jawdat Ibrahim told Israeli financial newspaper Globes that the $4,390 bill was fair, especially considering it was a Friday night, the restaurant’s busiest of the week.
“They sat there from 3 p.m. on Friday until midnight, and became rowdy and drunk. They asked me to buy alcoholic drinks that I paid thousands of shekels for,” Ibrahim told the newspaper.
“They asked that the bar should be kept available, they asked for 30 kg of stuffed mutton and other dishes. It wasn’t a case of eating and leaving, and they even took all their leftovers with them afterwards.”
The bill, published by Globes, breaks down as follows: 4,000 shekels for a private room ($1,064); 650 shekels for hors d’oeuvres and salads ($173); 5,900 shekels for alcohol ($1,569); 3,150 shekels for main courses ($838); 1,350 shekels for desserts ($359); and 1,500 shekels for service charge ($400).
“The truth is that I thought that they should pay much more, since I had no other diners that day,” Ibrahim told the newspaper. “They enjoyed themselves and thanked me, and now, two weeks later, they’re trying to besmirch us.”
Yossi Fattal, chief executive of the Incoming Tour Operators Association, disagreed and said the restaurant owner was trying to cheat the tourists.
Among his complaints were that the group arrived at 7 p.m., not 3 p.m., and had not ordered the alcohol — instead, he said the drinks were already on the tables when the tourists were seated.
“The Association decided to make this incident public in order to illustrate the importance of fair and polite treatment of tourists who come to Israel and are an important sector of the country’s economy,” he told Globes.