Restaurant calls for end to meal sharing, cheap drinks

BLOODY freeloaders. Clogging up restaurants by going out in big groups and then ordering paltry amounts.

Then again if restaurants didn't charge quite as much, perhaps they could expect more orders.

Who can afford to pay up to $25 for a dessert for goodness sake?

And the prices of drinks at some restaurants and pubs is pure extortion.

Martin Duncan, who owns FreestyleTout in Brisbane, has created a social media storm when he complained about customers drinking 'just tap water' while taking up space at his establishment.

A post on the restaurant's Facebook page laid down new rules, which discouraged sharing and eating on the cheap.

"Sorry to put it plainly but large groups not eating or drinking does not pay our rent or the wages of our fabulous staff. If you must share please purchase a drink," it read.

To be fair, you can feel for the guy.

Restaurants generally pay huge rents, power bills, as well as plenty in wages.

Having groups of eight to 20 people sharing a few coffees and a couple of desserts is hardly fair.

But the backlash created by the story - and the social media commentary around it, shows that restaurant owners need to be very careful in trying to establish 'the rules'.

After all the customers is always right.

Duncan was probably thinking this when he followed up his post with the following:

"It would seem that my comments on our Freestyle Tout Facebook regarding customers ordering at Freestyle Tout have been a little misconstrued," he wrote.

"To help set the record straight there are no 'rules' regarding dining at Freestyle Tout. We are in the business of hospitality and as such, everyone is welcome whether you are part of a large group, a solo diner or a small party of two."

"Having said that, we are also a business with staff wages and rent to pay."

What do you think? Should you be able to share a meal or dessert at a restaurant? Are prices too high?