Monday 20 November 2017

Don't pinch the pricey cutlery or loo rolls, diners at trendy Dublin restaurant told

Joe Macken, left, and Jamie Heaslip at their Bear restaurant in Dublin
Joe Macken, left, and Jamie Heaslip at their Bear restaurant in Dublin

Laura Lynott

A polite message on the menu asks diners to refrain from "pilfering" the posh €20 French steak knives.

Trendy Dublin restaurant Bear, on South William Street, was forced to add the request after forking out thousands of euro replacing "consumables" this year.

The request may be in small print, but it is italicised for effect, asking diners to take note because eyes are on them where steak knives are concerned.

It reads: "We have Opinel No.9 knives. €20 each. Pilfering will be noticed!"

Bear, part-owned by rugby star Jamie Heaslip and chef and businessman Joe Macken, has had to spend 15pc more this year on replacing items including knives, French glassware and even toilet rolls snatched by diners.

Over at Jo Burger, in Smithfield, also in the pair's investment portfolio, four sets of terrace furniture have been stolen by people with an appetite for theft.

Joe Macken, Co-Owner, Bear Restaurant pictured with knives at The South William St restaurant
Joe Macken, Co-Owner, Bear Restaurant pictured with knives at The South William St restaurant

Macken (38) told the Herald: "We have to source the knives from France, so it's really hard to get our hands on them. In the first week we were in business they all disappeared.

"We spend thousands of euro replacing things. We try to buy unique items, like the knives and French Duralex glass, none of which are easily available. They all get stolen.

"We have the sign in the menu as a polite reminder. It's a nice way to say 'be respectful and a nice person'. We can't afford to replace things constantly."

The thefts annoy Macken, who also runs Skinflint and Crackbird in Dublin.

He said no businessman or woman wants to spend vast sums on replacing what a thief has snatched. Inevitably, if enough is stolen, it will cut into profits.

"If someone steals a knife from a steak plate, essentially we gave the steak away for free," said Macken. "I've even been to friends and found glassware belonging to us.

"If people are stealing knives and other items, we are merely reminding them in a nice way, don't be pilfering, we are keeping an eye out."

Herald

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