Martin Duncan, who owns Brisbane’s Freestyle Tout and operates Freestyle Escape in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, has caused a stir by asking diners via Facebook to order at least one meal per person – either main or dessert – and a drink.
Martin Duncan, who owns Brisbane’s Freestyle Tout and operates Freestyle Escape in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, has caused a stir by asking diners via Facebook to order at least one meal per person – either main or dessert – and a drink. Sunshine Coast Daily

WE SAY: Restaurant’s new rules risk goodwill

OUR VIEW: DEBATE is raging about customer etiquette and what constitutes an acceptable order in restaurants.

Martin Duncan, who owns Brisbane's Freestyle Tout and operates Freestyle Escape in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, has caused a stir by asking diners via Facebook to order at least one meal per person - either main or dessert - and a drink.

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In a post, he has laid down some new rules that discourage sharing and eating on the cheap.

Other restaurant and cafe owners and staff across Australia also have lamented the situation where, for example, four people order two meals to share or groups come to socialise - taking up space but purchasing very little.

Certainly, the frustration of having to rearrange tables, clean up and serve such groups for little return is obvious to most of us.

But when was the word "hospitality" taken out of the hospitality industry?

Antonio "Tex" Teixeira, of Mooloolaba restaurant Karma Waters, is spot-on when he says he would rather customers share a meal than not have those customers at all.

Just like "karma", goodwill repays itself - sometimes tenfold - in word-of-mouth recommendations.

In the end, any business helps the bottom line, surely.


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