Critical Review of Restaurant Results in Lesson on Capitalism
The customer shamed the York restaurant, Bennett’s Café, and Bistro by leaving comments like “over-priced and very rude.”
A customer who left a review on TripAdvisor for a restaurant was very surprised to receive a defiant response from the restaurant manager. Like all restaurant diners who have had bad experiences, the Yorkshire resident was expecting at least an apologetic reply from management.
Hannah C. and her friends visited the Bennett’s Café and Bistro located in High Petergate, York on December 7. Because of the very unreasonable treatment they got, she said the restaurant was “very awful” in a review she titled “Over-priced and very rude staff”.
According to her, as she was on a tight budget, she decided to order a glass of water with lemon alongside with her friends’ teas and cakes. She then began by pointing out that her order “did not arrive on time”. And then, to her surprise, she was charged £2 for her drink, which she noted as “too much for some water”.
When she asked the waiter why she was being charged for a glass of water and a thin slice of lemon, the waiter rudely answered back with, “well, do you know how much a lemon cost?” She responded, “Yes, it’s definitely not £2.”
Hannah continues with, “He then 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. To show just how ridiculous this is, my friend ordered a slice of chocolate cake which was £1.90.”
She ended the review with her final remarks, “Dreadful place, would definitely not recommend, and the rude waiter that served me should be sacked. I will not be returning and will be advising friends and family not to go there.”
Unfortunately, her bad experience did not stop there. Instead of just responding with an apologetic reply, the management gave her a lesson about overhead and operating expenses in the restaurant industry. The restaurant manager of Bennett’s Café and Bistro replied to her post, “I’m sorry that you feel that you were “ripped off” and I’ll try to explain why you weren’t.”
The manager went on to explain how the operation works. From how she was greeted by the waiter when she entered the restaurant, to how the waiter led her to her seat and took her order. The restaurant manager continued by explaining how her order was prepared with “selected a knife, chopping board, got a lemon from the fridge, cut off a slice and put it in the cup. Then, he returned to the dining room, drew off the necessary hot water and carried the cup to your table.”
The reply post continued, “When you were leaving, he printed off your bill, took it to you, processed your credit card payment. After you left, he cleared away your cup, saucer, and spoon, took them into the kitchen, washed and dried them, along with the chopping board and knife and put away the lemon. Then, returning to the dining room he re-stacked the cup, saucer, and spoon wiped down your table and replaced the menu, awaiting the next customer. That’s at least 2-3 minutes’ work for the waiter.”
Then he went on by explaining the cost involved by just merely ordering a glass of water with a slice of lemon, “The cost of overheads for the business, i.e. 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, together the cost is £40 per hour or 67p per minute, meaning that the cost of providing you with 2-3 minutes of service was £1.34 – £2.00. Then the government adds 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 five pence.”
The restaurant manager ended the reply post with how they understand why customers think having a cup of tea in a restaurant is more expensive than making your own at home. According to them, “that’s the cruelty of life”. They explained that it is actually their facilities that cost more than the ingredients they used.
The restaurant manager ended the post with, “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 for free.”