Coast restaurant owner welcomes diners who share
IN the same vein as Seinfeld's "Soup Nazi", a Brisbane restaurant has clamped down on customers sharing meals by saying "no dinner for you".
But a Sunshine Coast restaurant owner feels turning away any customers no matter how big or small their appetite was a bad idea.
Martin Duncan, of Brisbane's Freestyle Tout and owner of Freestyle Escape in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, caused a social media storm when he asked diners via Facebook to order at least one meal per person - either main or dessert and a drink.
In a post Mr Duncan laid down some "new rules", which discouraged sharing and eating on the cheap.
"We would like to reserve table space for paying customers," he said.
"Sorry to put it plainly but large groups not eating or drinking does not pay our rent or the wages of our fabulous staff. If you must share please purchase a drink."
However, Antonio "Tex" Teixeira, of Mooloolaba restaurant Karma Waters, said he felt customers had the right to share a meal or just order a drink if they wanted.
"I would rather someone share a meal than not having a customer," he said.
"I'd rather two people spending $50 on a meal and a few drinks than miss out.
"We have people come in and have a coffee while they do their work for a few hours and we look after them just as well as we would anyone.
"I might put them on a smaller table or at the bar but I'd never turn them away."
He felt no matter what a customer ordered it was important to treat them well.
"If you look after them they might come back and have a main meal because you put them up for that one drink," he said.
Mr Teixeira, who has been running Karma Waters for eight years with his wife Kellie, felt the "one-drink
orders" helped to create a busier atmosphere.
"It makes the place look busier, which automatically attracts other diners," he said.
He felt any customer, regardless of how small the order, attributed to a successful business.