Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Don't Say You Weren't Warned

How much is too much?

What would you pay for a beer?

There are different ways of saying it and whether you think craft beer bars are expensive or not, the bar staff have a duty to tell you how much a pint of beer costs if they think it will cause a problem.
For instance, the staff at The Rake and Tap East are instructed to tell customers, especially those who aren't regulars, how much the beer will cost them and generally also ask if that's alright. Regulars usually know when something will be pricey and even they will welcome the warning sometimes.

£7.23 at Olympic venues - don't say you weren't warned.
Now, most customers take this the right way and appreciate that maybe they weren't quite ready for the amount they're paying and having someone give them the choice because of the price is welcomed.

Some people react like tossers and treat the bar staff like servants, waiving them and their warning away.

Usually these idiots are trying to impress someone by flaunting their wealth and try to make the person serving them look small or more pathetic than them. Fools, each one.

So where do you draw the line?

So how much is too much?

How high is the price where you complain you weren't warned about it?


Beerymatt said...

Too much is more than whichever punter it is wants to pay. Some are twats. You can't please all the people all of the time, as the saying goes..

Bailey said...

This isn't helpful: it depends.

If we know it's rare and special, then the threshold is higher.

If it's under 5% and costs more than £5 a pint, we'd definitely want a warning.

We might be momentarily taken aback at paying £4+ for c.4% lager or bitter, though we'd deal with it, and wouldn't hold it against you.

Unknown said...

Re: my comments on twitter earlier, I didn't actually act like a dick to the lovely lady behind the bar. I just simply said "Yes, I know"

The thing is, I was in a pub of which I am a regular customer. A pub whereby they have the prices of every beer clearly displayed on boards above the bar. A pub where, whenever they do get something exquisite and expensive, they know me and they know I happily pay the price. They know that every time I go there I will stand and peruse the boards to see what I want. In fact, tonight, the pub was fairly empty which is fairly unusual and she was standing there looking at me, probably knowing what I was looking for as it's me.

In a pub where the price of £2.70 a half is quite rare so it is clearly marked as half pint prices and I'm probably the only person to go in there and pay that price, a pub where they know me by name and know that I'm a big fan of the slightly rarer beers I couldn't help but feel a wee bit offended.

Fair enough, if I were to go into somewhere like Tap East or The Rake where the prices aren't clearly displayed and the bar staff don't know me and don't know that I'm willing to pay that kind of price, please let me know but these people have been serving me £5+ pints for about 5 years now!

Maybe I'm just being bitchy for the hell of it.


rabidbarfly said...

Matt - I agree, but you at least have to warn them.
Bailey - It doesn't nessasarily have to be rare or special, it's just the price you can either choose to pay or not. But warnings should be welcomed, no?

Beerymatt said...

I wasn't disagreeing, I usually take £5 as ballpark. That said, we have a board with all the prices so most know to look first..

rabidbarfly said...

Nate - That's fair enough, I probably wouldn't have reacted the same way as that member of staff but I wouldn't be too hasty to condemn her for doing her job, Dawg. :)

Dawn E Bear said...

In my own experience on the wrong (working) side of the bar I find some customers will just not read anything put in front of their faces, be it chalk boards, menus, flyers, pump clips, posters - our beers (Bears) are clearly displayed but still we get asked for ale we don't have, or get asked prices, strengths & styles that are all clearly displayed. But hey ho, it's good to talk!

Unknown said...

I probably wave nonchalantly at the staff when presented with such facts, not because I'm a dick who has plenty of money, but because I think I know about beer.

OK, and perhaps because I'm a dick, although I haven't got plenty of money.

I think it's useful to tell people and I like the way the staff at The Rake deal with it.

Unknown said...

The one moment where I get made to feel like I'm being a dick to a barkeep is when I express how offended I am when I'm paying £4 for a pint of wheat beer that gets poured into a nonic glass. Of course, as soon as I see them pick up the glass I ask if they have any wheat beer glasses and sometimes they can get really bitchy about it. Once I was sarcastically told "You're the wrong side of the bar to be calling the shots".

zatytom said...

I like how The Rake and Tap East always ask. I've been asked at other places but the threshold at which you're informed about the price before committing is sometimes rather higher.

These days, I know more or less what I'm doing and know when a beer is likely to be a pricey one, but back five years or so ago when I was just getting into exciting beer (and also had no money) it was really helpful, particularly with the rarer imports. With warning, its "OK, this is special", and you think more about what you are tasting.

Stono said...

context is everything in this though, Ill happily pay £4+ for an equivalent pint of something I think is special enough to warrant it, yet equally baulk when told the pint of standard stuff Ive just bought is £3.80 and Im being given as much as a location tax as anything else

I was in a pub the other day charging £3.50 for London Pride, next door to a Wetherspoons serving the same beer for £2, the context was key to why we stayed in the more expensive pub in that case

and for the record last time I visited the Rake,which was this year, none of the bar staff warned or communicated beer costs to us and we paid at least £4+ a pint, expensive for London yes & no in my experience.

and Ive also paid Olympic prices, £3.60 for a 330ml beer of 2.4%, outside of London in a fairly standard normal pub, yet strangely there isnt as much blogging about that. maybe Ill have to write one :)

Archi said...

Got me thinking this one, for me personally I never give the price much of a thought, expensive beer is a treat, venues like the Rake are great places to find something unusual or interesting and I’d never object to paying more than the average (whatever is the average these days doys is ?) for something worth enjoying. I can though see what some people take expectation to being told the price. Those who were not expecting it feel uncomfortable if they can’t or don’t want to afford it, some less educated think they know better and will question the price. One option might be to mark prices per pint or half on the pump clips if guess, but this open up an whole new discution.