Is it expensive?

Jul 18, 2017
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Over the weekend when staying near Cheltenham we went out for a drink at a country pub which we had never visited previously. The pub was nothing special as you were sitting outside. OH had cider and I had a cup of tea. Thatchers Cider cost £4.95 and tea was £2.95. Included in the bill was a £0.50 optional 50p service charge! I was lucky to get 1 1/2 cups out of the pot. All I got with the tea was a smidgen of milk and 3 packets of sugar. The 3 packets probably equated to 1 teaspoon. Normally they only give you two packets.
The previous weekend we went to a country pub local to us 14 miles away that we visit often and had Thatchers cider and a cup of coffee. Total came to £5.50 so we are wondering about the huge difference in price as cider was £3.50. Is this the norm now for some pubs to charge a lot extra to make up for losses? Needless to say we will not be visiting the "expensive" pub again.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Given the large losses that businesses have been faced with over the last year it’s hardly surprising that they will need to improve their financial provision is it? Many have drawn down their savings, taken out government backed loans, remortgaged, etc. It’s been very tough on them and their staffs. Many haven’t survived and it’s not over by a long chalk. If customers arent happy they will, like you, not visit again and go elsewhere.

Price rises are beginning to happen in areas other than the hospitality sector too. But the good news is that if inflation takes off and ramps up for September your triple lock arrangement will give you a good pension rise in April 2022.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Given the large losses that businesses have been faced with over the last year it’s hardly surprising that they will need to improve their financial provision is it? Many have drawn down their savings, taken out government backed loans, remortgaged, etc. It’s been very tough on them and their staffs. Many haven’t survived and it’s not over by a long chalk. If customers arent happy they will, like you, not visit again and go elsewhere.

Price rises are beginning to happen in areas other than the hospitality sector too. But the good news is that if inflation takes off and ramps up for September your triple lock arrangement will give you a good pension rise in April 2022.
I don't think any one minds paying a little extra, but not nice when you feel you are being ripped off. The 50p optional charge I have never come across previously.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I don't think any one minds paying a little extra, but not nice when you feel you are being ripped off. The 50p optional charge I have never come across previously.
I guess if it goes to the staff as it would help them, as furloughed staff only got 80% wages unless topped up. But at least it was optional. I jibe at paying obligatory service charges which should be included within the cost of the meal.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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If you are near Cheltenham you were lucky the prices were that low, try going in to the centre, you could end up paying a lot more. Like anything some suppliers will charge more some less, it is up to you as the consumer to decide whether to support the pub again or go elsewhere. As it was a country pub they probably do not have a lot of competition. I agree the optional 50p charge is nonsense.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If you are near Cheltenham you were lucky the prices were that low, try going in to the centre, you could end up paying a lot more. Like anything some suppliers will charge more some less, it is up to you as the consumer to decide whether to support the pub again or go elsewhere. As it was a country pub they probably do not have a lot of competition. I agree the optional 50p charge is nonsense.

At most pubs the prices are not displayed so until you are presented with the bill you have no idea of the cost. Obviously one expects to pay over the top if you walk into a fancy pub or hotel, but a country pub that is nothing special?
 
Nov 6, 2005
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If you are near Cheltenham you were lucky the prices were that low, try going in to the centre, you could end up paying a lot more. Like anything some suppliers will charge more some less, it is up to you as the consumer to decide whether to support the pub again or go elsewhere. As it was a country pub they probably do not have a lot of competition. I agree the optional 50p charge is nonsense.
Table service outdoors requires more staff than indoor bar service - that's a cost that has to be paid for somewhere - the Covid pandemic has incurred major cost to ALL parts of the economy, anyone who expects prices to remain the same is being unrealistic.
 
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Table service outdoors requires more staff than indoor bar service - that's a cost that has to be paid for somewhere - the Covid pandemic has incurred major cost to ALL parts of the economy, anyone who expects prices to remain the same is being unrealistic.

We understand that, but why the "optional" 50p charge on top of the inflated prices for drinks. If they have a 200 - 300 people coming through every day that is a nice earner. BTW the 50p charge is every round of drinks you order.
Most pubs have an area outside where you can collect your drinks, but no option at the pub in question even though they were serving through an outside hatch. Blatant rip off.
Anyway we now know for future to book ahead at pubs we know, so no unpleasant surprises. I guess a lot of people are being caught out at present, but there will be karma. :D
 
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We have our own business, and have been forced to close during each of the lockdowns, as were most of our customers, our prices have not gone up to our customers, and neither have the majority of our suppliers to us, what has been very noticeable is the varying levels of response to the Covid shutdowns. Some suppliers have been very pro active in supporting us, while there are others who seem to have used Covid as a cover for poor service,with poor response times,as we are now back we have been moving our business more and more to the suppliers that have supported us. As always a problem for some is an opportunity for others.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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We just found it nice to be able to get a drink out again in the ambience of a pub garden, much better than a take away coffee sat in the car.

Things I suspect are either going to be "ex[pensive" or won't be there at all, such are the new times,
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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We understand that, but why the "optional" 50p charge on top of the inflated prices for drinks. If they have a 200 - 300 people coming through every day that is a nice earner. BTW the 50p charge is every round of drinks you order.
Most pubs have an area outside where you can collect your drinks, but no option at the pub in question even though they were serving through an outside hatch. Blatant rip off.
Anyway we now know for future to book ahead at pubs we know, so no unpleasant surprises. I guess a lot of people are being caught out at present, but there will be karma. :D

Under current rules in England customers are to remain seated unless for example going to the toilet or to pay. So going to pick up your drinks at the hatch is a no no. There rules are quite onerous and I doubt many customers are that familiar with them. Some pubs in our area remain closed as the business case for outdoor service only isn’t financially viable.
The link below gives details of what the sector has to deal with to be compliant.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working...s-offering-takeaway-or-delivery#takeaways-2-2
 
Nov 6, 2005
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We understand that, but why the "optional" 50p charge on top of the inflated prices for drinks. If they have a 200 - 300 people coming through every day that is a nice earner. BTW the 50p charge is every round of drinks you order.
Most pubs have an area outside where you can collect your drinks, but no option at the pub in question even though they were serving through an outside hatch. Blatant rip off.
Anyway we now know for future to book ahead at pubs we know, so no unpleasant surprises. I guess a lot of people are being caught out at present, but there will be karma. :D
My understanding is that Covid lockdown regulation relaxation in England requires customers to be seated at tables outdoors with full table service.

I agree that service charges shouldn't be optional - they should be mandatory or not at all.
 
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My understanding is that Covid lockdown regulation relaxation in England requires customers to be seated at tables outdoors with full table service.

I agree that service charges shouldn't be optional - they should be mandatory or not at all.

The rules do allow the customer to go from the table for specific reasons. One being the toilet, the other being to pay at a dedicated payment point if table payment can't be provided. They are extremely detailed as shown in the link that I posted. Some places may inadvertently not fully comply, or perhaps just try to wing it.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Oops queried it with OH. At the other pubs, you ordered at hatch and paid for drinks or meals, the drinks or meal were then brought to your table. Apologies for getting it the wrong way around.
 

Damian

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I cannot understand the problem the OP has, or had with prices.

A far as the cost of beer/cider, whatever, is concerned the price is dictated by the brewery supplying the drink and varies from pub to pub.

As for the optional charge, what is the problem, you either pay it or not, your choice.

As for the lack of sugar for tea, simply ask for some more.

You are supposed to be out "enjoying" yourself, not picking holes in every single thing that you dont like.
 
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Todays paper suggested that beer may be over £6 a pint in London now and the rea; problem is not people trying to recover lost income but the fact they cannot get the staff and wages have had to be increased just to get them. Many have found other jobs and the large numbers of foreign staff have all gone home and most have not returned. The problem is most acute in London and the South of England but even in other areas the staff to customer ratio has increased and that has to be passed on.
 
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It was Cheltenham! Perhaps that’s why. :)

Having said that, we went to the centre of Cheltenham last summer during that spell when we were allowed. And had a meal at Petit Blanc. Both meal and drinks were not the extortionate price we expected. And the staff and atmosphere was lovely

Yesterday we needed to go to Cheltenham hospital, on the way home we called at a garden centre we have not been to for years. Quality and price was really good, going back tomorrow for more.

John
 
Nov 16, 2015
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We went to a country pub lat Friday, the first customers the pub has had in 7 months, the landlord had only 1 real ale on, 2 lagers, and a cider. Still had his chef and just one waitress. He has not put his prices up, only two tables in the front of the pub and 4 tables in the rear courtyard. He will be struggling to get enough customers in to keep going. As several of his normal "old folk" lunchtime drinking, customers will have to take the tables only leaving 4 tables, for people to eat.
 
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Cost isn't just for the food on the plate or brew in the cup, you pay for scenery, attraction of the place, or sometimes just to keep a certain clientele.
We had a couple of Lunches in a nice ish place, two pannini, two coffee, one scone came to around £40, no service charge, paid for the surroundings.
 
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We got this from Pickering had a Large fish & small chips it was £6.80 but it was beautifully white and melted in your mouth.it was well worth the treat
 
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I cannot understand the problem the OP has, or had with prices.

A far as the cost of beer/cider, whatever, is concerned the price is dictated by the brewery supplying the drink and varies from pub to pub.

As for the optional charge, what is the problem, you either pay it or not, your choice.

As for the lack of sugar for tea, simply ask for some more.

You are supposed to be out "enjoying" yourself, not picking holes in every single thing that you dont like.
it was an independent pub however a variation of over £1.50 is quite a bit. The optional charge was mandatory and we had no choice! You only get a receipt after you have paid in case you had forgotten.
We did ask for more which is why they gave me three instead of two. ( Personal attack removed)
 
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it was an independent pub however a variation of over £1.50 is quite a bit. The optional charge was mandatory and we had no choice! You only get a receipt after you have paid in case you had forgotten.
We did ask for more which is why they gave me three instead of two. (Personal attack removed)
Service charge isn't mandatory I believe
Didnt you look at a menu/price list before ordering?
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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My thoughts exactly as you were not given the option prior to paying. It appeared on the receipt after you had paid. Wife paid and I never looked at the receipts until she had paid for the second lot. No point arguing over £1 (2 x50p) when you areabout to leave.
 

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