Reading the WHICH piece featured in the news recently, it must be tempting for restaurant customers to feel hard done by. The reported mark ups of 150-300% over retail prices are certainly challenging to the consumer in these straightened times and it is right and proper that a consumer magazine should report the facts as they see them.
However there is more to this story than meets the eye. First and foremost, for consumers to enjoy the huge variety of food and hospitality available in London and the wider UK, restaurants have to be there, and to be there they need to make a profit from the overall experience.
Most restaurants apply a ‘decent’ mark up to wine, some apply mark ups that are perhaps beyond the point of decency, but the simple facts are that if they did not, they would either have to increase their food pricing substantially, contain their wages or go out of business; there are not many commercial variables in the restaurant trade.
So the moral in the story is that by drinking wine with your meal you are contributing to the fantastic number, quality and variety of the restaurants whichever community you live in and helping provide jobs for the thousands who work in the industry.
Having said that and as WHICH points out, it is better (for value and quality) to go up the wine list a little, and, if you don’t like the food you are being served, ask for tap water and wait for the restaurant to close.
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