Can a Restaurant Stop You from Consuming Their Own Takeaway Food on Their Premise?

Resturant manager apologised to me in writing and in person after I complained to the management. They promise they will train their staff better and hope to see me return. I thanked their response and will continue to eat there. I also changed the one-star to a five-star review on Zomato.

My message to the staff is that "You only work in a shop you know and you can drop the attitude".

The food in question is from their takeaway section. Yes, they have a section dedicated to takeaway food and they are also a proper restaurant.

I have always enjoyed their food and service and have had food from both their eat-in menu and takeaway section multiple times before.

I have always asked the staff if it was okay to just eat the takeaway food in their shop and the staff have always been courteous and said of course and even brought me water.

But not this time. This time I ordered a main dish off the eat-in menu and wandered to the takeaway section to choose something to complement my meal and when I attempted to pay for the chosen item the staff member informed me that I am not allowed to have takeaway food on-premise because they are so cheap. I said I have done this several times but the staff member was firm.

I was a little upset and went back to my seat. What really made the whole situation fascinating was the same staff member, after bringing me food, and said "I just want you to know takeaway food is never allowed and I am surprised you had done that before, can you tell me which staff let you do that?"

I was like, WTF, and ignored him.

The takeaway food was not listed on a separate menu but rather in a fridge on which I did not notice there was a takeaway sign.

Can they do this?


  • Sure. A lot of places have the same set-up of selling both take-away and eat-in, with prices cheaper for take-away orders because they don't incur the table service costs.

    They're a private establishment - you don't have ANY kind of right to be there.

    Edit: Also, wtf is up with the entitlement mentality these days? One staff member is nice, lets you disregard the rules, and you think you're now entitled to ignore the rules?

    • I actually did not know the food was takeaway only until that encounter.

      • I mean, "take-away". And the fact that they have different menus (and different prices for the same dish on either menu?) really should've clued you in. If they don't have the same dish on both menus, more understandable.

        But even that aside,

        I was like, WTF, and ignored him.

        Why this? They work there, nothing they said was unreasonable (again, "take-away menu").

    • what I find (specially as Asian places) is there is less in the takeaway container to cover for the cost of the container.

      anyone else notice this or am I cheap?

      • Really? Never noticed - they usually pack down the food they put into the container, that they obviously can't do to food on a plate. I assumed that any volume difference would be made up by the density difference…

        (Honestly, the cost-to-produce of the food is so trivial I doubt they'd try to cheap you out on that - biggest expenses are rent and wages - which is again why difference in price for take-away and eat-in).

      • It's the density difference mostly

      • Hmm… I eat out daily and I'm going to have to say I don't notice too much - except for spudbar. The bowl is huge compared to the tiny takeaway box.

  • Yes, otherwise why tf would there be 2 menus… As above, there are costs associated with one eating in vs takeaway.

  • Sigh

    Being a bargain hunter and being financially savvy, doesn't mean you should take offense to a company disliking your frugality when it goes against their implied rules.

    As above, there's a good reason why the prices are different and why there's 2 different counters.

    If you're taking up a table, they want you to be paying for that 'luxury'. Not to mention taking up a table of someone else who could potentially be paying more.

  • Name checks out.
    Yeah dude gotta agree with the above, should take them letting you eat there as a favour, not a right.

  • his time I ordered a main dish off the eat-in menu and wandered to the takeaway section to choose something to complement my meal and when I attempted to pay for the chosen item the staff member informed me that I am not allowed to have takeaway food on-premise because they are so cheap.

    I had to re-read this again, so you state you actually:

    ordered a main dish off the eat-in menu

    I feel this changes things, you already pay the table, eat in fee. I have no idea on the law side of things but feel they should let you eat in, maybe they can stop you eating from the takeaway food but you should be able to allow you to at least eat the eat-in food.


    I would have asked you to never come back

    • I was like, WTF, and ignored him.

      Bit hard to handle better if customer turns into a tortoise.

  • Wow I wish that was the worst thing I can find to complain about.

  • +4 votes

    ?? why do people do stuff like this. it's so awkward.

  • Man it's like a BBQ going on here.

    OP how's that roast coming..

    • I got the response I want from the restaurant.

      • Which was?

        Oh nvm, just saw the update.

      • They are a business after all. It's called "damage control". They were not necessarily wrong, but why bother when there is future monetary benefit from a returning customer (you) and a positive rectification of a online review. It is good for their business.

        On the other hand, the comments on your post here on Ozbargain have shown what an entitled whiny little ***** you were. The fact that you revealed you have left a one-star review for the restaurant that was completely unnecessary, unjustified and uncalled for, have further shown that you are a salty p**** with entitlement issues.

        Wanna be fair? Link this Ozbargain post to your Zomato review. Let people read the full story and the comments and have their own objective opinion about the restaurant.

        • I do not think people value opinions from people that engage in personal attacks. Nor do I.

        • @cheapcheapverycheap: Not when the same opinion comes from different people, which is the case here.

          Don't assume what people value more or less. What matters is being objective, right? That's the whole point of leaving (online) reviews for businesses anyway.

        • @sky blu: Not sure what you want me to do? I already updated the review to a good one post management apology. Next time I go to the restaurant, I will ask to see the manager and identify the staff in question. I need the staff to apologise to me more so than the manager.

  • Hopefully no one here owns or runs a resturant business.