REGARDING Annemarie Field’s Out in the Field report over the price of a cup of tea, I write to explain why a cup of tea might cost more than the actual teabag and hot water - as she seems to think it should - and hopefully before she tries to put somebody out of business.
Miss Field, just suppose you were thinking of starting a tearoom to make a fortune. Firstly you’d need premises, expensive equipment, a toilet possibly for clients but certainly for the staff, sinks, basins, cooker, large water boiler, cups, saucers, plates, spoons, sugar, bowls, tables chairs, till, phone and books.
The place would need decorating, lighting and flooring, cleaning mops, dishwasher, cleaning stuff, tea, coffee, sugar etc. All this would literally cost thousands which you may need to borrow.
Don’t get me going about staff who tend to think what’s yours is theirs who you have to pay even when they are off sick or having babies.
You will pay rent, rates, tax, electricity bills, gas bills, interest on that loan, insurance because the general public tend to sue when it’s their own fault - and they also help themselves to sugar packets and creamers, break stuff and use more because they’ve paid for it they think.
You’ll need towels and tea towels, soap dispensers and disinfectant. There are lots of rules about food you’ve never heard of and there is also a lot of waste in the catering industry.
I am a retired person who has worked in kitchens a lot, including as a school dinner lady which is poorly paid and hard work, scraping chewing gum off the bottom of the tables, washing cookers and floors and deep fat fryers every day.
I have never owned a business and have nothing to do with any cafe but know they are only trying to earn a living, presumably like yourself.
So Miss Field, if you only want to pay for a teabag and hot water I suggest you take a flask.
I see you have been to America and I do hope you remembered to tip the waiters there because they are taxed, assuming they receive them. Finally, what if a cafe owner wrote to the Herald to suggest only paying you for the pen and paper you used for your articles? Same thing.