Hoboken: October 2008 Archives
I went to a local pub yesterday and sat down after work. I wanted to try their food there, and figured i'd have a beer and relax at the bar. I chatted with the bartender a bit, since I knew her when I was a bartender at Mikie Squared.
The food was good pub grub, and the Yuengling draft went down smoothly. I enjoyed watching a bit of CNN and ESPN on the flat screen TVs, while I chatted her up a bit, catching up on old times.
I was finished eating and I whipped out my card, asking the bartender to put my tab on the card. She turned to the register, checked my tab and turned around, with a half-smile / half-frown of someone about to tell me something I didn't want to hear and said: "Hey, Sean, sorry we have a $20 minimum purchase rule here with credit cards."
I was fairly sure, but not positive, that, to ask for a minimum purchase it was violating their contract agreement with the credit card companies. I started to tell her about it, but she shrugged her shoulders saying, "The owners makes the rules, and they give me grief if I try to charge anything less. Sorry."
I didn't have any cash on me. They had one of those cheap ATM machines in the bar, and the closest "normal" bank (and not my bank) ATM was a few blocks away. The bar ATM or the local bank would charge me $2 per transaction. Plus, it was just inconvienent for me.
I wasn't about to get her in trouble over this. I know the owner, not very well, but I am on a first name basis, and I don't know if he will even care enough to do anything if I complain to him. I could report his business to the credit card companies, but I don't know if I even want to bother.
It wasn't the $2 fee. It wasn't even getting up, using the ATM. What happened to the customer coming first? Is the poor bar owner really going to cry over credit card fees when the markup on drinks is ridiculous*?
*Quick segue: Think about it. The price of a 1/2 keg of Coors Light, as an example. It costs $73.99 for us "regular people", and i'm sure a bar owner gets a better rate because of bulk discounts from distributors. So maybe it is $62 a keg. A keg holds 124 pints (16 oz.) of beer. Lets do the fun math. $62 for a keg, divided by 124 beers = .50 cents a glass. Remember that next time you are drinking a $4 glass of Coors Light at your local pub, and the owner makes $434 profit per keg (124 x $4 glass minus $62 cost per keg...not including spillage) .
What would you do? Feel free to email me at philly2hoboken at gmail.com and tell me!