Restaurant charges for warming baby’s bottle!

Horeca Flanders, the industry association that groups Flemish pubs, restaurants and hotels, says that its members are allowed to charge for additional services as long as customers are made aware of this beforehand. The hospitality industry is responding to the case of a woman who was charged 50 Eurocents after she had asked for a bottle of baby formula to be heated up.

The Rubens restaurant on Leuven's market square billed the extra charge as "electricity". The woman customer was so surprised that she posted a photo of the bill on the microblogging website Twitter.

Gerrit Budts of Horeca Flanders: "It's permitted, if the extra charge is listed somewhere or the customer is informed verbally. However, it is not normal practice. In most establishments this will be included in the normal service that is provided free of charge."

Many Belgian pubs and restaurants will charge for a visit to the loo, to deter people from using the facilities without getting a drink. This charge is usually advertised. Horeca Flanders advises customers disputing an extra charge to take the matter up with the landlord or proprietor.

The post attracted widespread condemnation from micro bloggers, but the Rubens Tavern shied away from responding.