Aussie mum blasts pub over 'deceptive' $4 charge on meal

The diner was angry at the additional cost and the venue staff's alleged lack of interest when she queried the issue.

A bistro in a Queensland hotel has been accused of being "deceptive" after a family enjoying their Father's Day meal were slapped with an additional charge on their bill.

The family ordered a 'Black Angus Rump' steak priced at $30 from Cooroy Hotel, west of Noosa Heads, on Sunday afternoon. An image of the menu was shared online and highlighted the dish was served with salad, fries and a 'homemade creamy green peppercorn' sauce, however, it appears the bill reflected something different.

"They charged [my] daughter $4 for the peppercorn sauce that comes with the dish. I asked for money back and the manger refused," the Aussie mum wrote online.

The meal in question says, 'served with salad, fries and home made creamy green peppercorn sauce' on the menu, with the diner disputed the additional $4 charge.
The diner claims she did not expect the additional $4 charge for the sauce, believing it was inclusive in the meal's price. Source: Facebook

"I asked if I could speak to the manager but [was] told he was too busy to talk to me. I said you will get a bad review and was told, 'It won’t affect my pay,'".

Cooroy Hotel apologises for 'misunderstanding'

When approached by Yahoo News, Cooroy Hotel's General Manager Tristan Hayes said there had been a misunderstanding and the hotel has reached out to the family to apologise.

It is believed the 'Black Angus Rump' is served in two different areas in the hotel and the serving of sauce is smaller and inclusive of the dish's price only in the hotel bar where the diners were seated. This seems to be how the issue has arisen.

"Unfortunately on this occasion the staff member, who usually works within our retail department, was confused about the sauce inclusion on the bar menu," Mr Hayes told Yahoo News Australia. "This resulted in miscommunication and the extra charge. We are now reviewing our bistro and bar menu inclusions, so they are uniform throughout the hotel." He said the hotel has reached out to the family on social media to issue a refund and voucher, as well as offer an apology for the misunderstanding.

Cooroy Hotel's restaurant can be seen with the bar at the back.
Cooroy Hotel has both a bistro and bar area where patrons can eat. Source: Instagram

Big community reaction to small additional charge amid cost-of-living crisis

Despite the additional charge being only $4, many responding online believed it was important to stand up to the venue on principle due to the alleged poor customer service after the diner queried the cost.

It comes as Aussies are continuing to watch their spending as a punishing cost-of-living crisis continues to affect millions across the country. Hospitality venues have routinely been called out in recent months as prices of staple pub meals, likes steaks and chicken parmies, rise to amounts some deem as too expensive.

One local flagged the menu shared by the Father's Day diners was different than the one available for viewing online — with the bistro's online menu clearly stating the sauce as an additional charge.

After being advised by those online, the diner who shared the initial complaint has since written a Google review expressing their dissatisfaction.

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