Just a warning: This might make you think twice about complaining about being ‘ripped off’ in future.
Last month, Bennett’s Café in York received a TripAdvisor review from a customer complaining that she should not have been charged £2 for hot water and a slice of lemon.
When I asked why I was being charged so much for some water the waiter rudely said, “Well, do you know how much a lemon costs?” …He went on to wrongly inform me that a pot of tea for one (which is what I was charged for) is the same price as a lemon.
The management of Bennett’s café didn’t let this lie - they went to great pains to explain to the customer just why she was not ‘ripped off’.
They even offered a detailed lesson in how restaurant overheads work, because they’re good like that.
After describing the 2-3 minutes work the waiter had to do to serve the customer hot water and lemon, they broke down the exact costs of running a café for an hour:
The cost of overheads for the business, ie. rent, business rates, electricity costs, bank charges, etc works out at £27.50 per hour of trading. I pay my colleagues a decent living wage and after taking into account holiday pay, national insurance and non-productive time prior to opening and after closing, the waiter who served you costs me £12.50 per hour.
“Therefore, the cost is £40 per hour or 67p a minute, meaning that the cost of providing you with 2-3 minutes service was £1.34-£2,” they wrote.
Then the government add on VAT at 20% which takes the cost of that cup of fruit infusion to between £1.60 and £2.40 irrespective of whether you had a teabag costing one and a half pence or a slice of lemon costing 5p… It’s actually the facilities that cost the money, far more so than the ingredients.
“Perhaps the rudeness you perceived in me was triggered by the disrespect that I perceived in you by your presumption that you could use our facilities and be waited on for free.”
That’s us told.