Sunday 20 November 2011

Nelson Mandela and Menu Apartheid

Apartheid is neither dead or buried. Those cafes that price their wares at higher Eat In prices than the Take Away are offering a platform to the patron who can laugh in the face of the Taker Away-er who doesn’t feel like he can justify forking out the extra to sit down and consume. Have those cafes not learnt anything from what happened in South Africa? About Nelson Mandela? The Spice Girls who met him and urged Mandela to never lose sight, after 27 years’ incarceration, of the struggle for girl power (see clip, below)?

The Eater In-er is in effect paying the higher tariff to rent, to linger at a property i.e. the cafĂ© premises. It is perhaps the cheapest shot they can muster if they want to lord it over another claiming that technically speaking they have a very temporary and infrequent second-home every time they fork out for Eat In. (CLICK ON 'Read more' LINK, BELOW)

The business of what time you have bought through eating in has until now been an inexact science. But we forget that there are such things as charts. We can draw a up a chart that would tell us exactly where we stand, or in this instance, sit. The sandwich hand could then consult it. ‘What’s the Eat In mark up on the Take Away price on an Eccles Cake and how much time will that allow rent on the table?’ they might ask themselves. Scan the chart. 8 minutes, 47 seconds. The sandwich hand can act on the example of the pub barman at chucking out time. Seven minutes, 47 seconds into the customer’s Eccles Cake and the hand can announce: ‘Can you please think about eating up now, sir? We’ve got to be out of here in a minute,’ and perhaps back up the you’re-not-welcome-anymore message by using the publican’s well tried-and-trusted method of turning upside down a chair and plonking it on top of your table.
It’s very possible that the Eater-In-er might counteract the request to move on by ordering another slice of carrot cake and keep doing so, each time his time has run down, rather like sticking another 50p in the electricity meter every time the power conks out. But there are those who will bravely defy and challenge the system, the Mandelas of this world. Brazenly opting to pay the Take Away price for their items, the rebel might then consume their panini and skinny latte on the threshold, thus almost eating in for the take-away price. Or they might start savaging their BLT as they head for the exit, technically eating most of it on the premises without paying the Eating-In tariff. And through them, one day eating in will be the same as taking away. Oh, and we will have girl power as well.

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