Almost as iconic as the Austrian Kaffeehäuser (coffee houses) themselves, are their waiters. If you have achieved a certain standing at a Kaffeehaus because of generous tips or repeat visits you may be awarded a title like doctor.
The famous Café Central in Vienna
The typical Kaffeehauswaiter is the antithesis of the chirpy, ever-smiling staff of today's service industries. Usually male, middle-aged, wearing a tuxedo and familiar with the titles, political views and favourite hot drinks of the regulars, the Kaffeehaus
waiter is a creature of habit – as well as a pernickety selector of favourites. Because here, in a unique reversal of roles, it is the customer who has to win over the waiter, not vice versa.
Until the customer is recognised as worthy, the waiter may display various degrees of grumpiness, irritation and sarcasm. This is not rudeness, but an integral part of the Kaffeehaus tradition that is often referred to as 'Viennese charm'. If you Visit Lord of the Kaffehaus
more than once, you have achieved a certain standing at a Kaffeehaus – through generous tips, reciprocating the waiter's attitude and repeat visits – you may be awarded a title, such as doctor (Herr/Frau Doktor) or privy councillor (Herr/Frau Geheimrat), and be addressed as such henceforth. The highest ranking regulars are greeted with a reverential 'The usual, professor?'Coffee Houses in ViennaCafé Sacher Vienna
Coffee Houses in SalzburgCafé Sacher Salzburg
Coffee Houses in Innsbruck Café Sacher Innsbruck
Café Konditorei Mundig Coffee Houses in Graz
Café Sacher Graz