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Saturday 25 August 2018

Dear restaurateurs. Please remember you are in the "hospitality" industry

Did you hear about the restaurant that charges guests for the use of knives and forks? 

And what about the café that charges extra for salt and pepper? 

Trust me. Such charges are probably not far away as restaurants struggle to make margins and mark-up everything they can think of. 

In today's The Australian Weekend Magazine, John Lethlean reviews Labart, a delightful-sounding eatery on the Gold Coast. He writes about a crab velouté "that's the sort of dish that needs bread, which costs extra". 

Just the other day I was reading about Brisbane St Bistro in Launceston, where they charge you $3 if you order "a little extra bread". Which is just mean. 

As far as I am concerned, a restaurateur should provide guests with a table and chairs, cutlery and crockery, salt and pepper, bread and tap water. 

Anything else, fine, go ahead and charge like a wounded bull - just make sure the charges are clearly marked on the menu. Better still, just build the basic costs into your menu prices, as you do rent, staff payments, food costs, insurance and breakages. 

It's the "hospitality" industry people - and there is nothing that guests hate more than penny pinching with charges for the likes of bread. 

Maybe you'd like to charge me for the Riedel wine glass into which you are pouring my wine. Don't even think about it! 


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