Customer rages at $19 Vegemite avo toast at Melbourne café

The cost of food is playing on everyone's mind.

A "sleek and modern" café in a bustling Melbourne suburb is the latest Aussie establishment to be accused of jacking up prices in order to turn a profit as frustrations continue to bubble over increasing food prices.

Norman, located in the in upscale suburb South Yarra, has come under fire from one potential diner for offering their version of Vegemite and avocado on toast for $19, a price the critic argues is too expensive — but the café claims the price is reasonable.

A picture of the menu was shared on social media this week with the poster questioning the price of the Normans Vegemite Avo Toast, which consists of butter, Vegemite, avocado, whipped feta on rye. The Reddit user accused the cafe of "taking the piss" with the "inflated" price.

A menu highlights Normans Vegemite Avo Toast at Norman cafe at South Yarra in Melbourne.
Vegemite and avocado on toast at the Norman café in Melbourne costs $19. Source: Reddit

"A bit of Vegemite toast with avo and feta for $19… plus all weekend incurs 10% surcharge so really $20.9," the poster fumed. "Understanding things are more expensive now but c'mon, " they added.

Café defends price of breakfast item

But most seemed to agree the price was pretty reasonable. The café does offer Vegemite, or any other spread, on toast for $9. Norman café director Yaz defended the $19 price for the Norman's Vegemite Avo Toast.

"If you go to any cafe, avo on toast is around that price. It's a pretty substantial breakfast or brunch offering," he told Yahoo News. Despite the business costs increasing by about 10 per cent in the past year and a half, Yaz said the menu prices have remained the same.

"We haven't put that on to the customer," he said.

Other diners say price is fair

Commenting on the Reddit post, many agreed the price didn't seem excessive, with one saying the cost "reflects the location and standards of the area".

"Been there a few times. It's a fancy café borderline restaurant on the main street. Just the rent and staff costs would be huge," one said. "If you want some cheap toast, make it yourself," they added.

Norman café at South Yarra, left, and a picture of  Norman's Vegemite Avo toast.
The café argued the price of its avocado and Vegemite on toast is comparable to others in the area. Source: Instagram

Others pointed out how much goes into preparing a cafe meal, empathising with business owners, particularly because there's usually "no profit to be made in toast".

"I’m tired of people thinking you’re just paying for the ingredients when in reality you’re paying for someone to make it, a portion of the rent/electricity and for the pleasure of eating in that location," one said. "Don’t like the price then simply go to another café."

Yaz said Norman staff take "absolute pride" in what they do and "always value our guests' experience". "Everyone's been quite happy with the menu, portion sizes and prices we offer," he said.

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