Debate rages after Victorian pub introduces salad rule for customers

As the cost of food continues to cripple Aussies across the country, pubs and restaurants are doing anything possible to help reduce their spend and maintain profits.

But one pub's move to help eliminate food waste and keep costs down has people divided, with some questioning their motive.

A Victorian pub-goer took to Reddit with a photo they'd taken of a sign on display at Irish Murphy’s in Ballarat, in the state’s Central Highlands.

It explained that salad and vegetables would no longer be included with main meals and that customers could purchase them as an additional side instead.

Irish Murphys pub decided to exclude salads from main meals
The pub decided to exclude salads from main meals to help reduce food waste. Source: Facebook/Irish Murphys

"To keep our prices and wastage down, salad and vegetables are no longer presented with your meal," the sign reads.

"They are still available to purchase as a side. Appreciate your understanding."

But the pub's new rule didn't sit well with one customer who said "at this point why even bother going out for a meal," and while some agreed, others had a different view.

Decision divides people: 'Smart idea'

"I'm ok with this," one person said arguing "rarely is the side salad on a dish eaten".

"I actually quite like the concept; you get what sides you want and they're usually quite shareable portions so a group of 3-4 can share as many sides," another said.

Others who worked in hospitality noted that "about half of the plates came back to the kitchen with the salad untouched".

Meanwhile, some argued pub salads are "never good anyway" and that having no salad creates more space on the plate for other items.

On the previous menu, main meals came with chips and salad and ranged between $24 and $28. There were no sides listed on the menu and it's not known how much extra they will be on the new menu.

Some suggested sides could be as little as $2 or as much as $5, but this can't be confirmed.

New rule criticised

On the displayed sign, the restaurant doesn't confirm whether or not the cost of meals would be reduced to make up for the lack of salad, but if that is the case, many said it's a "smart idea."

But one person said they "bet that the price for the main portion remains the same" meaning purchasing a side salad will end up costing more.

Irish Murphy's pub is in Ballarat, Victoria
The pub is in Ballarat in Victoria's Central Highlands. Source: Facebook/Irish Murphys

Others suggested alternatives that would help eliminate waste but still offer cost-effective solutions.

"There are other methods of countering that though — such as asking if they would like an included salad when ordering," one said. "This feels like a method to increase profit, not reduce food waste."

Another agreed to say they "don’t agree with having to purchase a salad" but customers should be given the choice when ordering their meal.

"How about they offer a choice of salad or veggies instead?" another wrote."I don't much like salad, but given the choice I'll pick veggies every time, and eat them all."

Some were perplexed by the idea entirely.

"So what, they just plate up a steak or a schnitzel with nothing else on the plate if you don't order sides? I mean, they're telling you upfront how it's going to be, so I guess people can make their own decisions, but I would find it off-putting unless there was a noticeably lower price for the main than previously," one said.

"Next will be BYO plates and cutlery," wrote another.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter and download the Yahoo News app from the App Store or Google Play.