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(64 Posts)
donburi Wed 07-Nov-12 15:13:17

I am not sure whether I have reasonable grounds to complain about something that happened last week. Basically, it was half term and I had taken DS to the Edgware Road branch in London. It was quite blustery that day so we decided to go in for a hot chocolate (their cafe is at the front of the store as you walk in). DS looked at the limited range of cakes and biscuits and said that he wanted a gingerbread witch so we went to the instore bakery instead and paid over a pound for one measly biscuit (I could produce a box of them for the same price at home but I never made a fuss re extortionate price).
We returned to their cafe bit and began to order our drinks. At this point, the person serving saw DS swinging his biscuit about in his bag and talking about it excitedly. She clearly knew that there was only one biscuit in the bag and that it was just bought at their store etc. as she would have heard our conversation prior to going off and buying it. Bear in mind that there was hardly anyone else in the cafe and pouring down with rain outside.
"You'll have to have the drinks as take away as he is not allowed to eat that here' she said.
I explained the obvious and that I was not asking for a plate and that he would take the plastic bag away at the end.
However, she refused to allow it saying that it was their rule so I basically passed on the drinks and went back out in the rain with child and biscuit in tow!
AIBU to complain about this to customer services?

BobbiFleckmann Wed 07-Nov-12 15:15:50

yabu simply for equating the retail price of a gingerbread witch with the cost of ingredients going into a batch you make at home. And by mentioning it like that, you are making a fuss.

donburi Wed 07-Nov-12 15:16:51

well I would not mention that bit to customer services of course

GoldenAutumn Wed 07-Nov-12 15:16:51

I would imagine the cafe is a franchise for a company like Costa - the ones I've seen in Waitroses aren't run by Waitrose themselves.

If so, then YABU - no cafe will let you consume on their premises goods bought elsewhere.

Armi Wed 07-Nov-12 15:18:35 do know that a cafe is a place where you go to buy drinks and food, not a place where you just use the seats whilst you consume a packed lunch, don't you?

GrimAndHumourless Wed 07-Nov-12 15:18:40

There are rules around consumption of food not purchased from the cafe or restaurant, insurance issues too I'll bet


nemno Wed 07-Nov-12 15:18:47

Is there maybe some complicated rule about tax being different on food bought in store and in the cafe which means Waitrose has to police it so officiously?

nemno Wed 07-Nov-12 15:19:32

And what Grim said!

ThatArtfulPussy Wed 07-Nov-12 15:19:35

Waitrose sell lots of things. Would be unreasonable for me to buy drinks from the soft drinks aisle, a milkshake from the chiller, and two bananas from the fruit and veg and then and sit and eat it all in their cafe?

mmmnoodlesoup Wed 07-Nov-12 15:20:52

What a fecking jobs worth. You should have said he wasn't going to eat it now and sat down. I run a cafe and always let little children eat their own snacks from other places, how mean.

WorraLiberty Wed 07-Nov-12 15:23:34

The woman was right for all the reasons given on this thread.

However, it wouldn't have hurt her to turn a blind eye.

SoupDragon Wed 07-Nov-12 15:31:23

What exactly did the member of staff do wrong?

SoupDragon Wed 07-Nov-12 15:32:07

It might have hurt her to turn a blind eye though - if she is not supposed to allow it she could be disciplined if found out.

GrimAndHumourless Wed 07-Nov-12 15:36:01

OP what will you do, have you had a rethink?

fatsatsuma Wed 07-Nov-12 15:36:49

The OP was buying drinks from the cafe to drink in the cafe. Her child also happened to have a biscuit with him, bought in the shop. She wasn't simply using the cafe to consume stuff bought elsewhere. Nor was she buying drinks to consume with a huge meal bought elsewhere - it was simply a child's biscuit.

OP, YANBU to complain. The staff member was being a jobs worth, and could easily have turned a friendly blind eye to the biscuit.

SoupDragon Wed 07-Nov-12 15:38:27

How do you know she could have easily turned a blind eye? Do you know the rules and regulations surrounding her job?

donburi Wed 07-Nov-12 15:38:37

Hi thanks for replying. It was def their own cafe; not a Costa or similar. I suppose there may be a tax rule but it was their own product; I would not dream of taking a whole lunch in from elsewhere.

Frontpaw Wed 07-Nov-12 15:44:04

They are usually nice in the coffee shop in that branch! There's usually just a couple of elderly chaps having a cuppa in there, so its not exactly busy.

I would write and email - not so much complaining but stating what happened.

MackerelOfFact Wed 07-Nov-12 15:46:18

It's probably a VAT issue. YABU. To be honest I'd probably try the same myself, but I would graciously concede defeat if caught out. I suggest you take the same tact.

ThatArtfulPussy Wed 07-Nov-12 15:47:37

I don't see how complaining will get you anywhere. They would have to charge VAT on food bought in a cafe, but not on a gingerbread biscuit from the instore bakery, the fact that it's their own product doesn't actually make any difference there and HMRC would be on them like a ton of bricks if it was being treated as a loophole.

Frontpaw Wed 07-Nov-12 15:48:32

It's next to their news gondola. Would they stop you reading your own newspaper too?

donburi Wed 07-Nov-12 15:50:38

As Fatsatsuma said, I don't think I was being rude as you can't stop a child from eating in those circumstances without a lot of tears and it would barely have been noticeable. I thought they were well known for their excellent care of customers commpared to the others which is what shocked me the most.

stillsmarting Wed 07-Nov-12 15:51:23

If they are franchises that would explain why the customer service in the cafe in our local waitrose is not a patch on the rest of the store.
I must admit I was a bit shock because I might well have done the same myself. You were buying their drinks, not using it as a place to eat your picnic. Will remember this in future.

mmmnoodlesoup Wed 07-Nov-12 15:52:00

It's worse when people who ask for takeaway then sit down anyway, which happens all the time in cafes. <eyes up takeaway cups left on tables>

I think she could have let him off, especially as weather was crap and he's just a toddler. I don't think complaining will do anything though as the staff member was following rules

SoupDragon Wed 07-Nov-12 15:52:51

What did the staff member do wrong?
Do you plan on complaining that she wouldn't let you break the rules?

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