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Does ANY cafe/restaurant in the ACT meet your service expectations?

braddonmonsta 31 July 2013 64

In recent years, most restaurants/cafes in Canberra have adopted outrageous, non-customer friendly policies regarding bill payments. As one of many people who don’t use cash, eating out with friends is quickly becoming a nightmare.

For example, at one popular venue:

We do not split bills. Minimum 10.00 for card transaction. All prices are GST inclusive. Surcharge applies on Sundays (10%) & public holidays (15%). 3% card fee applies for Amex & Diners. 1.5% card fee applies for Visa & Mastercard.

Can anyone tell me if there is a place in Canberra that meets the following criteria:

  • No card minimum or surcharge for any card including AMEX
  • No weekend/holiday surcharge
  • Happy to split bills and accept card for each person’s portion
  • Somewhat decent food/coffee

This stuff is a basic expectation in other countries. In the USA, you might see “we only split bills 6 ways or less” – now that’s an acceptable restriction.

In a time where every other industry has gone cash-free, why are hospitality and retail business owners so out of touch?


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64 Responses to Does ANY cafe/restaurant in the ACT meet your service expectations?
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Objective 3:28 pm 01 Aug 13

rosscoact said :

Objective said :

DanRayner said :

Heya

Dan @ Bittersweet in Kingston here.

We do the first three without question, the last one you’ll have to be the judge of when/if you come in for a visit (personally, I love the coffee & food we serve – but I might be a bit biased)

Cheers!

The implication here being that your prices are higher to offset surcharges/penalty rates/etcetc. Unfortunately, that makes me less inclined to visit your establishment. Subsidizing people like the OT doesn’t sit well with me.

Hardly an objective comment as well as being erroneous.

I use Bitter Sweet regularly and their prices are no higher than any other cafe so perhaps dismounting off your high horse is in order?

Actually my comment is purely objective and correct. Seems many people are disillusioned and believe costs just vanish into thin air. The cost of providing such services is being absorbed somewhere. If it is as you claim, and their prices are the same as any others, then perhaps they’re absorbing the costs in other ways. E.g. lower quality ingredients, less staff, paying staff less, etcetc.

Ultimately, if I don’t make use of services they provide for ‘free’, which objectively raise costs, I’m subsidizing the people that do. And I would contend that people who believe this to be a reasonable course of action are the ones who should get off their horse, not the other way around. I’ll pay for the service I receive, not what someone else does. Cheers buddy.

Diggety 2:24 pm 01 Aug 13

HiddenDragon said :

Let’s get serious, the obvious solution is for a government takeover of all of these slack, profiteering cafes, restaurants, bars, shops etc. etc. Whether it’s a takeover by the federal or local government, it won’t matter – long suffering Canberrans will then be assured of the world-class, dazzlingly efficient, friendly, responsive, flexible, amazingly affordable service which is the hallmark of the Canberra public sector.

Lol.

HiddenDragon 1:39 pm 01 Aug 13

Let’s get serious, the obvious solution is for a government takeover of all of these slack, profiteering cafes, restaurants, bars, shops etc. etc. Whether it’s a takeover by the federal or local government, it won’t matter – long suffering Canberrans will then be assured of the world-class, dazzlingly efficient, friendly, responsive, flexible, amazingly affordable service which is the hallmark of the Canberra public sector.

KB1971 11:50 am 01 Aug 13

tuco said :

There’s a place in Woden that does toasted sandwiches. Or untoasted, as the case may be.

I hear they are a bargain!

CBR 11:50 am 01 Aug 13

As an AMEX carrier (and it being my only actual CC as my other card is a Visa debit), I do resent the surcharge applied, though I do understand it and am happier to have it accepted and pay a few rather than not. That being said, if I’m paying for a $100+ a head meal, not including wine, than I rather expect that cost to be absorbed into your cost of doing business.

As for surcharges for using EFTPOS, that absolutely is a ripoff, as I know that the real cost of these transactions are cents in the dollar. Quite often these surcharges are also against the merchant contracts with the terminal supplier (as are minimum spends), and are applied as a “because we can” fee. I definitely resent that, especially when applied depending on how busy the venue is. Kennedy Room, I’m looking at you here.

If you can’t afford to account for the cost of doing business into your business, then don’t do business. Plenty of places can and will do that, and so I happily turn my custom to them. I agree with the OP that it is the laziness and the principle of the thing that annoys me. Can’t afford to abide by the law and print new menus to account for weekend surcharges? Don’t open on a weekend. Can’t afford to absorb the cost of credit cards and the VERY small cost of EFTPOS? Accept cash-only payments (and watch your custom tank).

Public does not charge $2 to pay with EFTPOS for a bottle of vino; Kennedy Room does (selectively). Guess where I’m going to go?

Pitchka 10:50 am 01 Aug 13

KB1971 said :

Pitchka said :

DanRayner said :

Heya

Dan @ Bittersweet in Kingston here.

We do the first three without question, the last one you’ll have to be the judge of when/if you come in for a visit (personally, I love the coffee & food we serve – but I might be a bit biased)

Cheers!

Had a coffee from here the other morning, wont be going back…

Not only was i the only person waiting, and it still took close on 5 minutes (doesnt sound like long, but when your the only one waiting there is no need for it), and the coffee was ordinary, and thats being polite…

The staff were friendly however…

Yeah, but you generally dont like anything……….

True, but i do love my coffee….

tuco 10:19 am 01 Aug 13

There’s a place in Woden that does toasted sandwiches. Or untoasted, as the case may be.

devils_advocate 9:40 am 01 Aug 13

Golden-Alpine said :

The surcharge on public holidays is illegal. Check ACCC for details.

Check the Competition and Consumer Amendment Regulation 2013 (No. 3) for details.

KB1971 9:38 am 01 Aug 13

Pitchka said :

DanRayner said :

Heya

Dan @ Bittersweet in Kingston here.

We do the first three without question, the last one you’ll have to be the judge of when/if you come in for a visit (personally, I love the coffee & food we serve – but I might be a bit biased)

Cheers!

Had a coffee from here the other morning, wont be going back…

Not only was i the only person waiting, and it still took close on 5 minutes (doesnt sound like long, but when your the only one waiting there is no need for it), and the coffee was ordinary, and thats being polite…

The staff were friendly however…

Yeah, but you generally dont like anything……….

Pitchka 8:23 am 01 Aug 13

DanRayner said :

Heya

Dan @ Bittersweet in Kingston here.

We do the first three without question, the last one you’ll have to be the judge of when/if you come in for a visit (personally, I love the coffee & food we serve – but I might be a bit biased)

Cheers!

Had a coffee from here the other morning, wont be going back…

Not only was i the only person waiting, and it still took close on 5 minutes (doesnt sound like long, but when your the only one waiting there is no need for it), and the coffee was ordinary, and thats being polite…

The staff were friendly however…

rosscoact 8:18 am 01 Aug 13

Objective said :

DanRayner said :

Heya

Dan @ Bittersweet in Kingston here.

We do the first three without question, the last one you’ll have to be the judge of when/if you come in for a visit (personally, I love the coffee & food we serve – but I might be a bit biased)

Cheers!

The implication here being that your prices are higher to offset surcharges/penalty rates/etcetc. Unfortunately, that makes me less inclined to visit your establishment. Subsidizing people like the OT doesn’t sit well with me.

Hardly an objective comment as well as being erroneous.

I use Bitter Sweet regularly and their prices are no higher than any other cafe so perhaps dismounting off your high horse is in order?

Objective 2:43 am 01 Aug 13

DanRayner said :

Heya

Dan @ Bittersweet in Kingston here.

We do the first three without question, the last one you’ll have to be the judge of when/if you come in for a visit (personally, I love the coffee & food we serve – but I might be a bit biased)

Cheers!

The implication here being that your prices are higher to offset surcharges/penalty rates/etcetc. Unfortunately, that makes me less inclined to visit your establishment. Subsidizing people like the OT doesn’t sit well with me.

Aeek 12:02 am 01 Aug 13

Most Canberra Restaurants meet my expectations – overpriced, poor service, disappointing food.
I go back to those that exceed this.

DanRayner 11:13 pm 31 Jul 13

Heya

Dan @ Bittersweet in Kingston here.

We do the first three without question, the last one you’ll have to be the judge of when/if you come in for a visit (personally, I love the coffee & food we serve – but I might be a bit biased)

Cheers!

peitab 11:06 pm 31 Jul 13

breda said :

The anti-business crowd here just can’t make up their minds.

I don’t think you’ve been reading the comments properly. It’s not anti-business sentiment, it’s customers getting sick of businesses being anti-customer service while asking for ever-increasing amounts of our hard earned money. The Australian retail sector is in the midst of learning this lesson the hard way. It’s not a surprise then that customers are also turning their attention to restaurants, cafes, etc.

breda 10:19 pm 31 Jul 13

The anti-business crowd here just can’t make up their minds.

On one hand, they say that the only “fair” way of doing business is to charge people for what things actually cost.

On the other, they want the costs averaged out over all customers – a kind of “business socialism.”

The conflict between these two positions seems to be beyond their grasp.

Here’s the thing. So far, it’s a free country as to where you eat/drink and what you buy. Just as with things you don’t like on TV, you have the option to choose. Either put up your own money and provide an alternative, or be consigned to the gutless whiners category.

Matt_Watts 9:54 pm 31 Jul 13

I used to love Chequers… Was very pleased there.

chewy14 9:53 pm 31 Jul 13

Objective said :

This thread reeks of ignorance and self entitled people whinging about their oh so hard first world problems. If you can’t understand why restaurants take these steps then you really need to take a step back educate yourself.

I had a great laugh when the OP claimed an ‘astute businessman’ would never take such measures….when the reality is the exact opposite. Some people.

+1 what a joke. How entitled can some people be. “how dare they expect me to pay the true cost of a service, everyone else should subsidise me”

Objective 9:42 pm 31 Jul 13

This thread reeks of ignorance and self entitled people whinging about their oh so hard first world problems. If you can’t understand why restaurants take these steps then you really need to take a step back educate yourself.

I had a great laugh when the OP claimed an ‘astute businessman’ would never take such measures….when the reality is the exact opposite. Some people.

Sandman 7:31 pm 31 Jul 13

Who charges weekend surcharges? I know most will charge 10% on a public holiday. Whoop de do. An extra $3 for the convenience of having somewhere willing to open on a public holiday is worth it.

I’m ok with what they do. If I go out with friends and there’s a single bill then we either all chuck in an approximate of our meal and make sure the total is enough. Or I’ll pay one time, they pay the next. If you feel the need to calculate down to the nearest cent then you probably shouldn’t be at a cafe anyway.

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