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Famed Peru restaurant pays price for special ‘ladies’ menu’

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Franklin Briceno, Associated Press

Published Monday, October 21, 2019 20:06

LIMA, Peru – A famous restaurant in Peru's capital is learning an expensive lesson when it comes to offering menus to women who don't include prices.

The beachfront restaurant, La Rosa Nautica, is being fined $ 62,000 for practicing a gold menu without details on what fish ceviche or scallops can cost women dining with men.

Men are given blue menus priced next to each option, a custom advocated by the restaurant during legal proceedings, which allows women to "enjoy a romantic evening" without having to worry about the cost of food.

Authorities have found otherwise, stating that the restaurant has discriminated against women.

"These little things may seem harmless," said Liliana Cerron, an agency official who issued the fine on Monday. "But at the end of the day they are the basis of a chauvinistic construction that reinforces the differences between men and women."

La Rosa Nautica is popular with international and upper-class tourists from Peru in a country of the world known for its food. The restaurant is often featured in guides and recommended restaurant lists.

The owners of La Rosa Nautica did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment, but denied that the practice should be considered discriminatory when defending the restaurant before a court.

Priceless menus "exalt the position of women, considering it a pleasure for them to enjoy a romantic evening with their partner, regardless of the cost of services," they argued.

The National Institute for the Defense of Free Competition and Intellectual Property Protection disagreed. In a 3-2 ruling last week, he stated that women should have "access to the same list of included-price dishes."

In addition to the fine, the restaurant will immediately have to start offering men and women the same price menu, training staff and placing a sign clearly indicating that discrimination will not be tolerated.

La Rosa Nautica isn't the first restaurant to be examined for gender discrimination by issuing separate menus for women – but it's been decades since other world-famous establishments eliminated the practice.

In the 1980s, the renowned L 'Orangerie in Los Angeles was prosecuted for sexual discrimination by diners who opposed waiters handing women a special priceless white menu and men a green one, including them. The restaurant gave in and agreed to abandon the "female" menu.

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