Tuesday 20 August 2019

€20 burgers leave bad taste with delegates as #foodgate trends

Twitter user Catriona Dwyer posted this image of her €20 lunch, saying she was 'livid'
Twitter user Catriona Dwyer posted this image of her €20 lunch, saying she was 'livid'

Jane O'Faherty and Ailish O'Hara

Hit-and-miss wifi connectivity and €20 hamburger lunches left some of the 40,000 entrepreneurs attending the Web Summit with a bad taste in their mouths.

A lunch package consisting of a burger or hot dog and bottle of water set attendees back €20.

Irish web developer Caitriona Dwyer posted a picture of her pricey lunch online and sparked an outcry about food prices at the sell-out event.

Ms Dwyer has attended the last four Web Summits, and said the price of lunch had not been an issue before.

"The first three years that I was here, the food was included in the ticket price," she told the Irish Independent.

"The last two years were really good. They had a Food Summit with producers from all over Ireland, but it was included in the ticket price."

Attendees were encouraged to buy tokens for the Food Summit from booths throughout the RDS in advance.

This meant that many did not know what would be included in the €20 they spent.

While the food stands offered a selection of produce, including duck wraps and vegan options, those who had purchased the tokens for €20 could avail of only one serving. Ice cream was available at an additional cost.

"Maybe it was because I had good experiences the years before that I felt let down," Ms Dwyer said.

The disappointment continued on social media as #foodgate began trending.

Wifi also proved troublesome, with many attendees unable to connect to the internet.

Web Summit organisers acknowledged that some users had experienced problems accessing wifi and apologised for any issues.

However, a spokesman added that the problems were limited after some attendees took to Twitter to vent their frustration.

"The wifi at Web Summit this year is holding up," he said.

"It is obviously a huge technical challenge to deliver seamless wifi service at this scale.

"Over a five-hour period this morning, we counted 22 negative tweets about the wifi.

"In that same period, some 43,000 tweets and retweets were sent about the Web Summit. We are sorry if anyone has experienced difficulties," he added.

Irish Independent

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