A restaurant owner has been forced to defend his "cheeky" menu after offended customers accused it of 'guilt-tripping' them for only ordering water with their meal.
Jane Breeds and her boyfriend visited Danish steakhouse Köd in London, last weekend to take advantage of their all-you-can-eat roast dinner.
But they were stunned to find a note on the £30-per-head ($58) menu warning "you can have tap water… but please remember we're running a restaurant, not a charity - wink, wink".
It goes on to add "if you want to have just tap water, we encourage you to donate £1 ($1.92) to Red Cross. Everybody wins".
The 27-year-old claims she and her partner "made a point" of not buying a drink because of it and instead ordered a jug of tap water. She later took to social media to slam the message as "wild behaviour".
She later said the request for a donation was "guilt tripping" and "cheeky" given they'd spent £60 ($115) at the swanky venue.
However Köd owner Morten Ortwed has hit back at the criticism, claiming his restaurant wouldn't be able to run the "great" Sunday-exclusive deal if nobody bought drinks.
He adds the note is "Danish humour" and admits he has "things to learn" about it working in the UK.
Morten, 38, and Jane locked horns on X, formerly known as Twitter, where he attempted to explain the joke but she insisted his "snarky" message was putting customers off buying drinks.
"When I first saw the menu I laughed and told my boyfriend that we're not ordering any drinks," she admitted.
"[The donation] is a nice idea but I don't think I should be guilt-tripped into donating to charity just because I only wanted to drink tap water.
"I didn't make a donation but I did happily pay the 15 per cent tip that is automatically added on though as the staff were great.
"They didn't say anything about us only drinking tap water and gave great service."
Restaurant owner says it's only one complaint
Restaurant owner Morten is an ambassador for Red Cross and the menu's message ends by revealing that to customers and asking them to inform waiters if they wish to donate.
The dad-of-two was keen to emphasise that Köd isn't forcing customers to buy drinks or donate but believes it would be a nice thing to do.
"We're not forcing people to buy drinks. They can have free tap water," he said.
"I understand [they find it cheeky] but to come to a restaurant and have tap water I think it would be nice to also donate something. That shouldn't be a bad thing."
He said he doesn't think his restaurant should "change something because one person doesn't agree".
However following the X interaction, many sided with Jane, saying they too what feel inclined to order water.
"That's a long-winded way of saying your business model doesn't work," one person responded to Morten.
- Kennedy News and Media
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