The Guardian reported this week on how a seemingly nice young couple dining at Marylebone’s Michelin-starred L’Autre Pied nipped outside for a cigarette break and waltzed off leaving an unpaid bill of £572.74. Not just cheeky but downright criminal. Yet my sympathy for the restaurant was severely strained by the manager saying this was an ‘average spend’ and that the people who would be most financially hurt were the waiters.
An average spend?? Unless I am living in a parallel universe we are not quite ‘all in this together’ yet. OK the waiters lost on a £57.27 tip but on that ‘average spend’ a) they must be the best tipped waiters in London and b) the management could well afford to sub them the difference.
For the record, the bill included a bottle of pink Larmandier champagne at £124 and a 1997 Bollinger at £285. Don’t know about the Larmandier but Oddbins will do you the Bolly at £111.99 if you buy two and you can bet the restaurant didn’t pay anywhere near that. Who’s robbing who? Excuse my French translation but just this once I’m not too distressed that L’Autre Pied’s bill ended up on the other foot.