Restaurant Owner: Drinking Tap Water And Sharing Dessert Isn’t Exactly Helping To Pay The Staff

Sharing is caring, right? Wrong if you’re a diner at a certain Australian restaurant that is now asking patrons who are part of large parties order their own drinks, meals and desserts, because taking up space and not ordering doesn’t exactly help the restaurant’s bottom-line.

The restaurant owner is receiving mixed reviews after making a post on Facebook asking each individual guest to purchase a meal or dessert and a beverage other than free tap water, Mashable reports.

According to a post on the restaurant’s facebook page:

During peak times, we would really really appreciate each individual guest purchasing a meal or dessert and a beverage.
We would like to reserve table space for paying customers.
Sorry to put it plainly but large groups not eating or drinking does not pay our rent or the wages of our fabulous staff
If you must share please purchase a drink.
We hope you understand and look forward to seeing you soon..

While making a post on social media blasting large groups of people for being cheap isn’t exactly the nicest (or brightest) thing a small business owner can do, the statement does include some truths.

I mean, restaurants do need to sell things in order to make money to pay their staff and remain open for business, right?

For his part, the owner defended the post, telling a local newspaper that some inconsiderate customers just cost too much to please.

“I don’t want to offend anyone by it, but at the end of the day I have to pay rent, a huge power bill and wages,” he said. “We can’t survive with people using us as a meeting place. It doesn’t sustain my business if they just drink tap water.”

After receiving backlash, and some backers, the owner further clarified his remarks, saying that the stance is directed only at large groups of eight or more people who share drinks and desserts while other, paying, customers wait in line.

To help set the record straight there are no ‘rules’ regarding dining at [restaurant]. We are in the business of hospitality and as such, everyone is welcome whether you are part of a large group, a solo diner or a small party of two.

Having said that, we are also a business with staff wages and rent to pay.

There is no issue with people sharing meals, after all, the sharing of food is one of life’s great joys.

The issue I am speaking out about is when large groups of say, 8 or 20 people share for instance, 2 meals/desserts, or share 4 coffees or even worse,trying to bring in their own food from home, especially when there are customers waiting for a seat. This is an issue not just limited to our business, many of my fellow restaurateurs have shared similar stories with me.

Many people are watching their pennies in this economy and this is understandable. Our meals start at $8.90 and that’s why we try and make dining out an affordable experience for all.

Restaurant Demands Customers Stop Sharing Meals, Drinking Tap Water [Mashable]

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  1. C0Y0TY says:

    I see nothing rude in the restaurant’s requests. They are polite and reasonable. They aren’t even requirements. There are some restaurants in my area that do require a minimum purchase to be served.

  2. furiousd says:

    Just amend the policies to include a cover charge of $5 per seat for anyone coming in. Either they opt to get something for their $5 or you got $5 a person with no overhead

    • MarthaGaill says:

      I’ve actually seen a few places around my parts that say if no order is taken, there will be a $4 for the normally free chips and salsa and water. Makes sense to me. If you’re taking a table without ordering, you’re essentially keeping that server from turning it over and earning tips. They’re basically still refilling the water and chips, so they’re doing work for free. Not cool. Plus the restaurant’s resources, in terms of electricity and food costs.

      I guess if you need to meet somewhere, but don’t want to order, don’t go to a restaurant.

      • furiousd says:

        If I meet with friends, we either go to someone’s place or decide where we’re going to meet with full knowledge that we’re going to incur costs based on the chosen venue. At most we’ve had someone who’d already eaten but still wanted to come and chat out of a group of four minimum that more than covered their costs, and would have lost out on three tabs had they refused us service

  3. DrRon says:

    I only drink about a cup of fluid with my meals, so I’m not about to pay more than it costs for a 2 liter bottle of soda pop for that experience. Give me what I drink at home, water, and not bottled.
    And due to allergies and medications I don’t drink any alcohol. I just apply that to the meal.

    • radioone says:

      I think the difference is that, you are paying for a meal (and maybe even apps or desert too) and just want plain tap water to accompany it.

      I think what the owners are ambivalent about are a large group of people who share food and free beverages.