S’pore cafe owner scolds lifestyle blogger for only buying 1 scoop of ice cream, apologises

The owner explained his frustration given 'exorbitant rental'.

Tanya Ong | May 15, 2018 @ 11:54 pm

Thanks to social media, cafes are no longer just about food — they have also become props for Instagram photo ops.

And this adds pressure to the F&B business owners, who have to make sure that everything looks good, from food to cafe interior.

Factor in exorbitant rental prices, and one can easily imagine the high overheads.

Which was apparently why the owner of Luxe Singapore — one of the higher-end cafes located along Keong Saik Street — lost it when two costumers ordered just a scoop of ice cream between them.

Pestered her to buy a drink

On May 8, lifestyle and travel blogger Cheowster (a.k.a. Chelsea Teng) visited Luxe Singapore with a friend as part of her cafe-hopping route on her birthday.

However, after placing an order for one scoop of ice cream, Teng claimed that the cafe owner questioned her: “Are you just gonna have ice cream?”

He then allegedly pestered her to buy a drink.

Here are the screenshots of Teng’s Instagram stories on the incident, which she shared in a Facebook post:

In case you can’t see:

Owner: Hey, can I get u sth? Maybe a drink?
Customer: Oh, no worries, we are good, thank you.
Owner: Are you sure? How about a coffee?
Customer: I think we are going to go cafe hopping, so it’s alright.
Owner: C’mon, are you just going to have ice cream? You’ve already taken pictures here, used our space – get a drink! Coffee?
Customer: We are going around to other cafes so…
Owner: OKAY. *stomps away*

Teng also wrote that the owner said something to the waiter while they were preparing to leave, and noted that there were other customers at that time, described as Caucasians in suits, who were (presumably) discussing business over a cup of coffee.

Teng claimed that the cafe was almost empty and the pair sat in for around 20 minutes.

Charged double for ice cream

When the duo wanted to foot the bill, Teng claimed that she was charged S$11, which was double the price, although she acknowledged that this could have been done in error.

While waiting for her receipt, the owner allegedly approached her to tell her off for “buying a f*cking ice cream”, saying that they “have rent to pay”:

Owner: Guys, just a piece of advice. We owners have rent to pay, so if you’re gonna take up space in the restaurant, you should at least get more than just a scoop of ice cream.
Customer: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that?
Owner: No, it’s wrong. You can’t just do that when we have rents to pay. Etc etc.
Customer: You know, I have never come across a cafe rep like you. Don’t worry, I won’t be coming back again to save you the trouble.
Owner: Please, I don’t want you here too. Don’t just go to a cafe buying a f***ing ice cream. Do us a favour, thank you.

Teng said she cried from anger moments after walking off.

This is her Facebook post:

Review on Luxe’s Facebook

A day after her Facebook post, Teng left a review on the cafe’s Facebook page detailing her experience:

This time, Teng wrote that the restaurant was “half-empty”, and they only stayed for 30 minutes.

Acknowledging the rental issues faced by the cafe, she even suggested that the cafe should have indicated a “minimum order needed to be met” as an upfront policy for customers before dining in.

In case you can’t see the review:

Luxe apologises for outburst, offers free brunch

In the comments section of her Facebook post, Teng shared a personal apology message from a user who claimed to be the owner of Luxe:

In summary, the owner admitted to the “outburst”, and then offered her and a guest a free brunch as apology.

He also explained that it’s “more than frustrating” when customers use their space for work and photo-taking without ordering more than a “f*king ice cream”.

Teng, unfortunately, bore the brunt of this frustration.

On May 10, the blogger updated her Facebook post, saying that she is “glad to hear that they’ve reflected from the mistake and would treat their customers professionally in future”.

Clarifying the “restaurant owners’ perspective”

Luxe Singapore also commented on the incident subsequently, stating that it stands by the apology and that incident was not a “true reflection” of the service and professionalism of the establishment.

They also added a clarification that Teng was spoken to as a fellow professional, saying that it was “very clear that she was using [their] restaurant and its decor as a backdrop for her own photographic work and other product endorsement”.

They hoped that Teng would be able to empathise with them from a “restaurant’s owners’ perspective”.

Top photo from Cheowster’s and Luxe Singapore’s Facebook

About Tanya Ong

Tanya hopes to own a roller skate disco one day.

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