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Opinion : Do restaurants charge too much?

| April 15, 2014


The other day yours truly had to attend a business meeting at lunchtime.

To be honest at midday I would rather sit quietly on a bench in the Parish Churchyard eating my sandwiches than sit down to a table in a busy restaurant and eat a formal meal.

I feel large multi-course dinners are the preserve of the evening when one can go to bed afterwards to digest the meal rather than trying to work in the afternoon when my stomach is telling me to sleep.

Anyway, there was no way your humble servant could get out of the lunch appointment so I found myself in a restaurant sitting at a table choosing from the menu.

After scouring the menu for the few dishes that didn’t contain onion, garlic or other non-English ingredients our orders were placed. It seems my business colleagues had very few culinary standards and were literally prepared to eat anything whether it be English food or not.

To compliment my meal my good self choose a pint of cola from the soft drink menu and to round off an ice cream from the desserts menu, after all yours truly wasn’t paying so I took the approach that it was an eat as much as you like session.

After a few minutes the meal arrived and very nice mine looked too, sadly I couldn’t say the same for the other meals that arrived as the looked more like the aftermath of a crash on the M40 than a delicate gastronomic delight. However my colleagues seemed happy to eat the mess so maybe your humble servant should not be critical?

Soon the meal was over and the waiter arrived smiling with the bill and handed it to my good self. When I saw the total price of our little meal I can assure you there was no smile on my face.

‘By George!’ I exclaimed. Realising my business colleagues were present and not wanting to make a bad impression the work credit card was produced and the money paid.

All afternoon my mind was on the cost of the meal.

It turns out my pint of cola cost nearly £3, a starter of soup £5, a burger with chips was nearly £12, indeed chips on there own cost the best part of £4 and the ice cream left very little change from £6.

Well, there’s no way someone as humble as myself could afford to eat out. I think being honest those prices are exorbitant but the restaurant was busy and people seemed prepared to pay the money asked.

I wonder if you agree with me? Being realistic the mark up being made on the food must be massive and surely the eateries of the town could drop their prices so the less well off could partake in a visit once or twice?

Next time a business lunch is called for maybe I should make some extra sandwiches and treat my colleagues to a picnic in the parish church yard? It would certainly be cheaper.

What do you think?

*Don’t forget my blogs are published twice a week here, on the Wycombe Today site, every Tuesday evening around 8pm and late on Friday evenings.

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