'Outrageous' 20c charge at Sydney sandwich shop: 'Pure greed'

A Vietnamese restaurant in Haymarket, Sydney is causing a stir among customers after one noticed an "outrageous" surcharge on the sandwich bar’s menu.

A photo posted on Reddit shows the extensive list of fillings and extras available at Sydney Pork Rolls — a popular spot for Vietnamese rolls — including a 20 cent surcharge for cutting the roll in half.

A roll at the store, usually containing meat and salad, will cost between $5.50 and $8.50, with extra meat or an egg costing an extra $1.50. Meanwhile, an extra bag will set the customer back an additional 10c.

But pork roll enthusiasts couldn't look past the extra cost involved in cutting the sandwich in half.

 Vietnamese Sydney Pork Roll shop  list of extra charges
The Vietnamese sandwich shop charges an extra 20 cents for cutting rolls in half. Source: Reddit

"Sydney Pork Roll charging 20c to cut in half…time is hard," the poster wrote on Reddit.

"This pricing is getting outrageous, all in the name of inflation," one responded.

"50 cents to ask why it costs 20 cents to cut," another mocked.

Meanwhile, a third called it "pure greed" and said they would go elsewhere.

Charge for labour: 'Times are tough'

Many tried to justify the extra charge by saying it's "probably to make it more enticing to buy two rolls instead of splitting one." Others agreed "times were tough".

One argued the charge was for the labour involved and said "every bit counts".

"They pump out hundreds of them a day and barely take a minute to make one," one person pointed out.

"I don't necessarily agree with the charge but at the same time in a high-speed environment like a pork roll place, time literally is money."

Meanwhile, another pork roll fan said they're "good value for money" so the extra charge wasn't a big deal.

Sydney store explains surcharge

A staff member at Sydney Pork Rolls confirmed to Yahoo News Australia the extra charge is to help "pay staff for their time".

"Normally we don't [cut them] but when the customer asks, we do," they said.

"At lunchtime, we are very busy. We take time to wrap them and make them perfect. It takes more time for us."

Some people questioned "who would get their Pork Roll cut" in the first place, but it turns out many hungry customers do.

Sydney Pork Rolls shop front in Haymarket, Sydney
Sydney Pork Rolls is a popular place for lunch and is located in Haymarket, Sydney. Source: Google Maps

"I like eating them in halves because I like my first bite to have everything. Also by the time you get to the ends of the pork roll, it’s nice and saucy," explained one.

"When I was a carer for my grandparents I'd request it so they could share. They didn't have big appetites being 90 and 92, half each was enough for them," shared another.

One cheeky customer suggested a way to bypass the charge.

"Ask for it to be cut into thirds, must be free as it's not on the price list," they said.

Restaurant surcharges perfectly legal, say experts

Restaurants can set their own prices, including charging extra for menu items, according to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC).

However, added costs must be communicated with the customer ahead of consuming the item, not just on the bill, Dr Sara Thaichon from Griffith Business School previously told Yahoo News Australia.

"Adding a surcharge is legal as long as customers know about it before making any transaction," she said.

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