The owners of a café have sparked an online debate after criticising customers for not spending enough.
Lured in by free wi-fi and no time restrictions many of us set up temporary offices at unsuspecting café tables but just how long can you get away with ordering tap water before your luck runs out?
This was the debate sparked when a woman posted on the Wallington, Surrey Facebook group that the owners of family-run Henry’s Bistro Café told her she and her 16 friends did not spend enough money during their visit.
The customer posted the letter on the town’s Facebook group which complained that the party of 17 spent just £55 between them during a three-hour long catch-up.
The owners claimed that the group left the café with a “financial loss” and that each person spent “less than the price of a cup of tea every hour.”
“Larger companies and organisations may have a financial structure to ‘balance off’ these losses, and some can even be slightly loose with their morals in the way that they conduct their business,” the letter read.
“We as a start-up, a new and totally independent business, cannot afford to, and will not behave in that manner.”
The owners add that the group’s £55 bill didn’t cover the national minimum wage of its staff, cost of materials, rent or administration charges and implied that the group would no longer be welcome unless they were willing to shell out.
“At present, for the business there is no incentive or obligation to carry on with this relationship,” the letter concluded.
The post quickly sparked debate among the Facebook group members with many siding with the owners of Henry’s Bistro Café.
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“We all want independent businesses to succeed, so we must play the game by spending a fair amount too,” one person commented.
Another added: “It is not a public meeting room, next time maybe you should take it in turns to host at home.”
However, some people thought the café had overreacted accusing the alleged letter of being “rude”.
“Seriously? These peeps need an urgent lesson in customer care,” one person wrote.
“It’s a café and no café tells anyone how long they can stay.”
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