As much as we like traveling, it is often a joy to return home after a long time (or seemingly long time) away from the simple comforts we are used to. We just came back from our annual, summer pilgrimage to the islands. We stayed for about 1 week in the island of Sikinos where we came across what seemed as one of the largest concentrations of rude, inhospitable and greedy people. We had a really fine time but it had nothing to do with most business owners on that island.
Coming back home to an empty fridge, we decided to have an informal dinner some place outside and picked our local 'Simply Burgers' restaurant. This is a restaurant chain (in-place, take-out and delivery) that has been in operation since 2003 but has really taken off in the last couple of years in the metro Athens area specializing in affordable, good-quality burgers. It was created by two Greek-Americans who have left California to find their luck in Greece and seem to be doing just fine as of now.
Well, let's just say that the simple (!), yet impeccable, service we received felt like a cultural shock as compared to what we had experienced in Sikinos for the past week. And yet, our waiter was a young guy, college student age, just as Greek as the rude business owners of Sikinos or their occasionaly polite but typically untrained staff. So, a business franchise run by two Californian Greeks shows respect for their customers and teaches its staff how to do the same while similar, smaller businesses in a remote island (which should feel neighbourly, friendly and welcoming) treat you like a walking-talking wallet...
I am not a big tipper but I left one of the biggest tips I've had in a long time to the guy who waited our table at 'Simply Burgers' and I almost felt guilty for not leaving more.
See map of Athens restaurants at the bottom of this page.
And, by the way, here are some tips on tipping in Greece.
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