Pay-what-you-like hotels in Fribourg

Hotels in Fribourg, western Switzerland, are offering customers the chance to determine the prices they want to pay for their rooms.

Pay-what-you-like hotels in Fribourg
Norbert Aepli (File)

Eight hotels in Fribourg will start the offer this weekend, and continue it for the rest of the year. The offer is only run on Sundays and does not include breakfast.

Customers will be asked to pay what they consider to be the right price for the services they have received and to fill out a short questionnaire explaining how they arrived at their price.

“Our goal is not to offer something for free, even if we do accept customers who want to pay nothing at all. It’s a risk we take,” Sophie Rouvenaz from the committee of Fribourg hoteliers told online news website Le Matin.

“This offer is bold and innovative,” said Thomas Allemann of the Swiss Hotel Association.

A similar project was undertaken in 2001 and showed that customers were honest and did not take advantage of the deal.

“The average price paid was almost identical to the actual price,” said Sophie Rouvenaz. “And we certainly hope for the same result, proving that our services are worth their price.”

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Cafés and restaurants in most of French-speaking Switzerland to re-open on December 10th

Nearly four weeks after closing down, bars and restaurants in five of Switzerland’s six French-speaking regions will be back in business as of December 10th.

Cafés and restaurants in most of French-speaking Switzerland to re-open on December 10th
A waiter wearing a protective face mask poses in the nearly empty restaurant "Le Lyrique cafe brasserie" in Geneva. AFP

In a joint press release, Geneva, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Fribourg, and Jura announced on Wednesday that the decision to re-open restaurants and cafés “was made in a concerted manner and with a desire for harmonisation and clarity” among the neighbouring regions.

Of the French-speaking cantons, only Valais restaurants will remain shut, as the canton had extended its closures until December 13th.

Authorities noted that the decision to re-open was driven by the steadily declining coronavirus infection rates in the regions, which until the first week of November had been among the most impacted in Switzerland.

Cantonal officials said that the re-opening “will take place in a strict health framework. It will be mandatory to consume seated and provide contact details for tracing. There can only up to four people per table.”

Tables must be at least 1.5 metres apart and masks must be worn if customers are not seated.

Additionally, establishments must remain closed between 11 pm. and 6 am, in accordance with federal rules.

Authorities said they would monitor “for the possible effects of the re-opening on the pandemic. This means the decision can be revoked if the health situation requires it”.

In Vaud, electric heaters will be allowed outside the restaurants to encourage customers to eat outdoors.

READ MORE: IN NUMBERS: Reasons to be optimistic about the coronavirus situation in Switzerland 

Other measures will also be lifted

For instance, in Vaud museums will re-open on December 1st, and religious services will resume with a maximum of 30 people. They will have to wear masks and keep the 1.5-metre distance.

Also in Vaud, more relaxed measures will be put in place for the holidays: from December 18th to January 3rd, the limit for gatherings will be raised from five to 10 people.

However, participation in other public or private events will remain limited to five people.

In Geneva, the Council of State announced on Wednesday that museums, exhibition halls and libraries will be open from November 28th.

This new relaxation comes after hairdressers, beauticians and other wellness services resumed their activities on Saturday.

Until then, all non-essential businesses in Geneva had been shut down since the beginning of November to curb the canton’s alarmingly high contamination rate. 

You can see the situation in other Swiss cantons here.