Is it acceptable to while away hours in a café ordering tap water and a cup of tea, or is it well within an owner’s rights to demand you spend more?
This was the debate sparked when a Surrey café owner wrote to complain to a party of 17 who shelled out £55 between them during a three-hour visit.
A woman and her 16 friends were sent a letter by Henry’s Bistro Café in Wallington, which the customer posted on the town’s Facebook group. The letter claimed the group spent “less than the price of a cup of tea every hour”. The owners said that, “as a start-up, a new and totally independent business”, the bill would not cover overheads.
“You assured us that the spending from the group would be of an amount making yours/our understanding to be a beneficial one. The visit left us with a financial loss that is neither sustainable nor how a business/restaurant works. £55 divided by 17 is approximately £3.24 per head, which, divided by three hours, is approximately £1.07 per head gross.”