El Català a l'empresa

Price-lists, menus

Particularly in bars and restaurants

What does the law say?

Product prices and the accompanying information, exhibited both inside and outside the establishment, must be at least in Catalan (article 32.3 of Act 1/1998 on linguistic policy and article 128.1 on the Law 22/2010 of the Catalan Consumer Code). This includes the list of services offered by restaurants and bars on display both inside and outside the establishment, including the food menu and wine and drinks lists (and therefore also the daily set menu).

Hotels and other tourist accommodation are bound by the same obligations as the restaurants. Information on service prices must be provided at least in Catalan.

In addition to the aforementioned obligations, tourist accommodation establishments must also apply Decree 159/2012 of 20th November, on tourist accommodation establishments and property for tourist use. Article 20 sets out the obligations regarding Catalan in the notification of prices. The rules or regulations governing the internal regulations of establishments must also be in Catalan, as established by article 12.

There are also different obligations in other Catalan-speaking territories:

Andorra

    Besides article 15 of the Law regulating the use of the official language of the Principality of Andorra, which makes various provisions regarding information displayed, there are more specific obligations regarding tourism establishments and restaurants, more specifically in article 17:

    All hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés and other hotel establishments and restaurants must write menus, price lists, services and any other printed or public information in Catalan. Other languages can also be provided in a secondary position.

What would a good practice be in this regard?

  • In addition to displaying all the information of such establishments at least in Catalan, beyond the legal provisions, it is important to consider how this information is provided, so that Catalan is not treated in a subordinate or marginal way.
  • As far as the menus of restaurants or bar-restaurants are concerned, there may be different situations of good practice:

    • The establishment only has the menus in Catalan (monolingual)..

    • The establishment has multilingual menus, where Catalan is always fully present and given preference.

    • The establishment has different types of menus (usually monolingual ones), always with a Catalan version. In this case the food and drink menu is normally given out in the consumer's language, if it is known; otherwise the establishment gives the consumer a choice of menu language used or else gives them the Catalan version by default. In the latter case, if the client wants it in another language, they can ask for one or be informed, on the Catalan menus, that other language versions are available.

    • We must avoid, at all costs, that in an establishment in Catalonia the customer has to purposely ask for the menu in Catalan because they were automatically given one in a different language. Another good option is to have bilingual menus in each language and in Catalan, in which Catalan always appears first. This means that there would be Catalan-Spanish, Catalan-English, Catalan-French, Catalan-German, etc. menus.

    The dictionary Plats a la Carta has a database of over 7000 references of dishes and recipes in Catalan and in other five languages. You can find this tool, and others, here.