- a blog about food and value

Pricewatch Wants Your Stories of Silly Charges in Restaurants

Those of you on Twitter may have seen Conor Pope asking this question:

Restaurants charging for ketchup, butter and jam and stuff – is it okay? A big prize for anyone with outrageous examples of the practice.

In  my experience, it tends to be cafes and takeaways that charge extra for this kind of stuff. And it is very much not okay.  Particular offenders are those self-service cafes where you throw some butter onto your tray at the last minute and get charged an extra 20c.  I never eat in those places (because they tend to be a bit crap) so don’t run into this practice too often.  How about you? Tell us your examples here or nip across to Pricewatch to comment there.


  1. Butler’s charge an extra 50 cents to make coffees with soya milk. Cafe Sol or O’Briens don’t charge any extra. I emailed Butler’s and was told this was to cover the extra cost of soya milk. A litre of milk costs about 79 cents, a litre of soya costs about 1.29 euros. That’s a difference of 50 cents, all right. But a litre will make about 6 capuccinos, so the cafe ends up pocketing an extra 2.5 euros on a litre of soya milk

  2. Thats cheap milk to start with!

  3. Claire, yes, I took into account that cafes and restaurants would buy milk at wholesale prices, while the soya milk may be bought at full price due to lower demand

  4. On a night out recently in The Lifeboat in Skerries, my sister, after much deliberation decided to treat herself to Scallop Linguine at €12.95 as a starter. When the dish arrived, my boyfriend commented that he had never tasted scallops so she quickly gave him one that was sitting on top to sample. When she delved further into the dish, she discovered, that underneath the large amount of pasta and sauce, there were no more scallops to be found. She quickly called the waitress to inform her of the mistake, only to be told that the starter (at a cost of just under €13!!!) came with just one scallop- as the norm!!! To get “scallops plural” you had to order the main at well above €27. After a display of disgust and incredulity, the waitress scurried off to the kitchen with the now scallopless dish and arrived back shortly after with an abundance of scallops and many apologies. I wonder how many people actually complain when they receive one scallop for €13. Its an absolute disgrace that restaurants are still getting away with this daylight robbery in this day and age!

  5. Darwins-Aungier Street-
    Surf’n’Turf- ribeye steak with ONE prawn

  6. Late last yr we went for a meal in Seapoint in Monkstown shortly after it opened & we charged €17.95 for a childs Breast of Chicken, Mash & Veg – the child in question was 2yrs old..

  7. I was going to say typical Irish…. but it happens all over the world……….. McMunns, Ballybunion, Kerry have brought they prices down but portions are smaller……..