Time limit for a snack or drink on the terrace in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
drinks on the terrace

Whole afternoons on a terrace in Spain with a sangria and tapas seem to be a thing of the past. Due to the high demand for a table on the terrace, catering establishments in Spanish cities are introducing a time limit on the terrace. However, will half an hour for a beer becomethe new normal‘? 

Since the terraces have reopened after covid restrictions, catering owners want to facilitate the high demand through a new system. But whether this is received so positively remains to be seen. Several catering establishments in Barcelona and Bilbao have set a time limit per table, depending on the type of consumption. 

The clock is ticking on the terrace in Barcelona and Bilbao 

On many terraces you get 30 minutes for a drink, for example a beer or a glass of soft drink. The time limit is extended to an hour if food is also ordered. However, determining the time limit sometimes involves even more snags. In addition to the type of consumption, the number of people sitting at the table is also taken into account. 

cogesa expats

In Barcelona, ​​various catering bosses are pulling the strings even tighter. Various media, such as El Español and ABC.es, write that some places do not even grant access when someone wants to go to a terrace alone or in pairs. For example, they only allow groups of three or more people. 

Horeca business Bilbao presents time limit on welcome board 

Bilbao has also joined this new system. A sign outside a catering businesses in the centre says there is a maximum time on the terrace per consumption. So you get 15 minutes for a cup of coffee, 25 minutes for a beer and 40 minutes for a small lunch. 

Whether more catering establishments in Barcelona, ​​Bilbao or even in other cities in Spain will adopt this system remains to be seen. The fear of many is that Spain will become less attractive when delicious and unlimited enjoyment of sangria and tapas on the terrace in the Spanish sun threatens to disappear. 

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