An Irish pub’s decision to stop including salads and vegetables in main meals and serve each option as a side dish has divided Australian foodies online.
In a post on Reddit, a customer shared a photo of a sign at Irish Murphy’s in Ballarat, explaining that the usually included leafy greens relish and other garden-grown foods will no longer be featured with the entrée and will come at a cost. additional. if ordered.
The poster then goes on to justify that the pub, which is in the state’s Central Highlands, has implemented the menu update in a bid to lower prices and reduce food waste.
“To keep our prices and waste down, salads and vegetables are no longer featured with your meal,” the sign reads.
“They are still available to buy as a side dish. I appreciate your understanding.”
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But the post with the restaurant’s sign and the caption “at this point, why bother eating out?” has sparked a debate online with consumers providing feedback on whether the restaurant’s move was justified.
A viewer of the post was confused about what would come on his plate if he didn’t order the optional sides.
“So what, they just serve a steak or schnitzel with nothing else on the plate if you don’t ask for sides?” they questioned
“I mean, they tell you up front how it’s going to be, so I guess people can make up their own minds, but I’d find it off-putting unless there was a noticeably lower price for principal than before.”
Meanwhile, another person against the idea suggested that the restaurant should have taken a different approach.
“However, there are other methods to counteract that, such as asking if they would like a side salad when ordering. This feels like a method of increasing profits, not reducing food waste.”
A third added: “But salad and vegetables are part of the meal? No one cooks a steak and calls it “food.” You also need potatoes, carrots, beans, etc. to make it a complete meal.”
While some of the 290 comments on the post have criticized the move, not everyone is against it, especially waiters at other restaurants.
“I worked in a pub years ago. Approximately half of the dishes returned to the kitchen with the salad intact”, commented a former hotel employee.
“I work as a waitress and most of the time people leave the salad bowl intact, we cannot reuse it because it has already been served and goes in the trash. Same with fries,” added another.
Others understood that the restaurant was finding alternative methods to reduce its operating costs, especially with inflation driving up prices for fresh produce.
Earlier this year, shoppers saw the price of lettuce hit highs of $11 each, while other consumers uprooted broccoli stems in a bid to lower their grocery bill, after the price of the vegetable will increase by 130 percent.
Those consumers and businesses buying from wholesalers were also seeing record prices for the cost of spinach, with a 1.5kg box doubling from $16.50 to $38.50.
Mushrooms, Lebanese cucumbers and cabbage also made the list of the 10 most expensive supermarket products in Australia.
“(The cost of) fresh produce is still quite high, especially in rural areas where economy of scale is not a factor,” said one supporter of the pub menu change.
“It seems completely reasonable. The family goes out, the salad comes with the meal by default, maybe one person out of three eats something, nobody eats everything. Total waste,” said another.
It is not clear if the restaurant has changed the prices of its entrees to reflect the change in its menu.
News.com.au has contacted Irish Murphy’s Ballarat for comment.