Man sparks debate after getting a £32 bill for two £9.25 cocktails at Sexy Fish – because of a ‘gin upgrade’ and service charge

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By Ketrin Agustine

A man was left fuming after he was charged £32 for two £9.50 cocktails at trendy restaurant Sexy Fish.

The man, who has asked not to be named, went for a drink with his flatmate to the newly opened venue in Manchester and and ordered two classic negroni cocktails.

Speaking to Manchester Evening News he said he was left stunned when he asked for the bill at the Asian restaurant and bar, which ‘didn’t add up’. 

He explained: ‘When the bill arrived the full total was almost £32 which at first I was like OK, that’s the price here.

‘But when I looked more closely at the receipt I could see it didn’t make any sense. I couldn’t work it out because since when does 2 x £9.25 equal £28? Naturally, because of this I decided to query it with the bar staff.’

Man sparks debate after getting a £32 bill for two £9.25 cocktails at Sexy Fish – because of a ‘gin upgrade’ and service charge

The customer said the staff initially ‘seemed at a loss to explain it’. He was then told it was because the drink was made with a ‘gin upgrade’, which he claims he was not aware of and it ‘felt a bit sneaky.’  

Sexy Fish have confirmed that the receipt was the result of a ’till error’ that has now been rectified. 

They say the drink was made with Plymouth Gin, which is classed as an upgrade on their standard negroni, which is normally priced at £9.25. 

With Plymouth Gin the cocktail costs £14, hence the sub-total price of £28 on the bill. The total bill came to £31.78 once Sexy Fish’s 13.5 per cent service charge was added on top. 

However despite the mix up being addressed the man’s bill still sparked a fiery debate online with many focusing on the service charge.

Some people said service charges are ‘a disease that’s spread over from the US’ and ‘should be optional’.

One person said: ‘It most certainly should be optional. The restaurant pays the staffs’ wages, if someone wishes to leave a tip for good service then fair enough, the worst part of it is, that member of staff who delivered the service will probably never see that money!’

Another said: ‘It’ll backfire, times are tough for everyone, and these are the little “extras” that stop people eating and drinking out.’

However the man's bill sparked a fiery debate online with many saying service charges are 'a disease that¿s spread over from the US'

Someone else wrote: ‘Why are we trying to get Americanised again !!! In the UK tips for good service have always been optional and not put on the bill, a lot of people at work are on minimum wage as probably the servers are so why do they think we can afford service charges all these bloody excepted ideas that we have to give a tip is disgraceful, when going out for a meal it’s classed as a treat these days but if these charges are going to be the norm then I think I’ll not bother’

Another agreed saying: ‘Absolutely not, I’ve always been a generous tipper, but that is what it’s for. It’s to reward the individual worker to recognise their efforts, I also disagree with the businesses that pool tips, why should someone run themselves ragged and then have to split their tips.. This is just a method for the businesses to take their cut.’ 

While a fifth said: ‘Most restaurants do it now, a disease that’s spread over from the US where waiting staff are paid absolute peanuts and rely on tips, over here though they make a fair wage so any tip should be given for good service and good food not just because.’ 



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