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.
The typical Kaffeehaus waiter 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 accepted as worthy, the waiter may display various degrees of grumpiness, irritation and sarcasm. This is not rudeness, but an integral part of the Kaffeehaus culture
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 and reciprocating the waiter's attitude, you may also 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 WienCafé ImperialCafé Hofburg
Coffee Houses in SalzburgCafé Sacher SalzburgCafé TomaselliCafé Bazar
Coffee Houses in Innsbruck Café Sacher InnsbruckCafé CentralCafé Konditorei MundigCoffee Houses in GrazCafé Sacher Graz