What GST is followed in restaurants

Experience report "Please wait, you are placed!"

We preferred to eat and drink in small country restaurants (consumption, LPG or private). Unfortunately there were fewer and fewer. Hotel restaurants and bars could usually only be entered with advance notice. They were fully occupied. Our preferred restaurants and bars were among others the Chemnitzer Hof, the "Mazurka" in Dresden, the Hotel Stadt Schwerin and the Palace of the Republic in Berlin.

If you went on a trip to the countryside or to a city and got hungry, you had to bring time with you. One to two hours of waiting in front of the restaurant was normal. At the entrance the guest was greeted with a sign: "Please wait, you will be seated!" You had to stand here, even if the restaurant was only half full.

My patience was often at the end and we looked for a takeaway. There were such in some excursion and city centers. Here, after just 10 to 20 minutes of waiting, you could buy a buck, curry or bratwurst and drink watery lemonade or beer from paper cups. This usually ran out of options.

One episode was characteristic of the upscale gastronomy in the GDR: My wife Hannelore had her 32nd birthday at Whitsun 1974. We wanted to celebrate it at the Hotel Neptun in Warnemünde, where we liked it very much. This hotel, in which rooms were also reserved for FDGB vacationers, had a swimming pool and a roof garden bar, the roof of which was opened when the weather was fine.

In 1973 I ordered a room for one night and tickets for the bar in writing. The receptionist informed me "that in the months of June to September orders can only be placed by foreign tourists and other contractual partners." In other words, the hotel was closed to normal GDR citizens.

I complained about this to the district management of the SED Rostock, as I felt this approach was political discrimination. My complaint was processed and evaluated in a party meeting of the comrades of the hotel. The hotel gave me the room I wanted and a detailed letter from the director with an apology. However, nothing fundamentally changed my complaint.

This episode uses a small example to illustrate the omnipotence of the single leading party. Every higher party leadership had the right to interfere in the affairs of all companies and organizations and to enforce the party's will through the basic organization of the SED. However, the party often took care of citizens' concerns and bureaucratic grievances. Instructions from the higher party leadership were to be followed.