Sydney woman slammed over avocado stunt at cafe: 'I'm shocked'

A Sydney woman's unique tactic to save a few dollars at a café has raised eyebrows, with many questioning the ethics behind it.

Filming herself at a cafe, inner-city resident Milly Bannister pulls out an avocado from a Coles bag before slicing it open and spreading it on the toast she's ordered.

"Does anyone else do this, or am I the asshole?" she asks.

"I always bring my own avocado instead of paying like $6 for it."

Milly Bannister pulls the avocado out of a Coles bag. Source: TikTok/ millyrosebannister
Milly Bannister pulls the avocado out of a Coles bag. Source: TikTok/ millyrosebannister

Ms Bannister, who is a mental health charity founder and speaker with 157,000 Instagram followers, said the café owner's "rude" behaviour was part of her motivation in doing so.

However she quickly faced backlash after uploading the video to TikTok.

"This is extremely sad," one person wrote.

"I'm shocked honey, no no no," another said.

Others said if she was desperate to save money, she shouldn't be eating out altogether.

Milly Bannister spreads the avocado on her toast. Source: TikTok/ millyrosebannister
She spreads the avocado on her toast at the café. Source: TikTok/ millyrosebannister

"Tell me you've never worked in hospitality, without telling me," one said.

Not all criticised the move, with one person calling it "genius".

"Some cafes charge an arm and a leg for extra avocado," another argued.

Expert wades in on tactic

Veteran hospitality expert Max Hitchins told Yahoo News Australia while he was aware of some parents bringing food for their children, he had never heard of such a move at a café before.

"It's not really the right thing to do, that's what the coffee shop is there to do, to give you service and to provide you with whatever you require," he said.

"I'd be a bit iffy if I was the operator."

Mr Hitchins said it was particularly strange during a time when most people have sympathy for café owners who have endured tough times during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Woman responds to backlash

Ms Bannister told Yahoo News Australia she can understand the reaction and empathises with the sentiment, adding it was an error to promote such a tactic.

"My mistake here is not occasionally and discreetly BYO-ing avocado to this cafe (I should be able to save money while enjoying myself), but encouraging others to do the same, as I would not want this to become a trend," she said.

"And as a person with a platform, I should have been more mindful of this and not promoted this behaviour," she said.

Ms Bannister said she spends $250 a week at local cafes supporting local businesses.

She said she only brings her own avocado when shopping at the nearby supermarket, adding the cafe is "notorious" for bad customer service.

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