Life Food & Drink

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Café owner leaves brilliant response to one-star TripAdvisor complaint about cost of lemon water

A customer left a negative review for Bennett's Café and Bistro on TripAdvisor when she was charged £2 for hot water with a slice of lemon

Published 15/01/2016 | 13:56

File photo: Lemon water
File photo: Lemon water

A café’s manager scathing response to a negative TripAdvisor review is being shared online after a customer complained about being charged £2 (€2.87) for a cup of hot water and a slice of lemon.

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Mike Fisher, owner of Bennett’s Café & Bistro in York, spelt out the exact costs of preparing the drink in his epic reply.

A customer, only known as Hannah C, from North Yorkshire, described the bistro as “absolutely awful” in her review.

“I ordered hot water and a slice of lemon which, firstly, did not arrive on time with all my friends’ cake and drinks. I was then charged £2 for the hot water and a thin slice of lemon,” she wrote.

“When I asked why I was being charged so much for some water the waiter rudely said, ‘well, do you know how much a lemon costs?’ Yes, it’s definitely not £2.

“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.”

Mr Fisher replied outlining the costs of paying a waiter, the time his staff spent serving her and the overheads for running his business, “which works out at £27.50 per hour of trading”, he wrote.

He added: “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.

“I accept that it makes the price of a cuppa in a city centre cafe look expensive compared to the one you make at home but unfortunately that’s the cruel reality of life. It’s actually the facilities that cost the money, far more so than the ingredients.

“Perhaps, the rudeness that 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 on for free.”

The post, which has since been deleted from TripAdvisor, went viral after being shared by food critic Jay Rayner.

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