Italy: Fines for serving takeaway pizza at tables

Generic image of a man eating a pizza at a table
Image caption Serving people seated could be a costly error by pizzeria owners

Takeaway pizza joints in parts of Italy face fines amounting to thousands of pounds for serving seated customers, it's emerged.

The situation was brought to light by reports that a family-owned pizzeria was fined 5,000 euros (£4,300) after one of its owners carried two slices to a couple sitting outside. Laws in Italy's north-western province of Liguria ban takeaway staff from going further than the shop counter when handing food to customers, reports Il Secolo XIX newspaper. And the legislation means businesses could end up stumping up 15,000 euros if they break trading rules.

Speaking to the paper about his fine, Massimo Abategiovanni - who owns the Benvenuti al Sud pizzeria in the town of Albisola Superiore - reckons he faces closure if it's enforced. "Our mistake was doing a kindness to our only two customers that afternoon," he laments. It seems local authorities were unrepentant, telling the paper firms had been notified in advance about the rules which were in place to protect customers and ensure fair competition.

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