I have officially been a victim of daylight robbery. You see, I made the big mistake of popping into the Venus Taverna in Margate (that's right, you are officially named and shamed). Basically, I ordered a pint of Fosters and a bottle of Becks. The barmaid stared at me blankly and said: “That'll be £6 please.”
“£6?,” I replied. “Are you sure? That can't be right – the Fosters was £3.”
“Yeah, that's right. The bottle of becks is £3. The pint of Fosters is £3. That's £6 in total.”
At which point, of course, I could hardly contain my disbelief. Are they having a sodding laugh? Trust me, I don't intend to get all Tony Hancock here (“A pint?! That's very nearly an armful!” etc.), but I do honestly think that £3 for a bottle of Becks is a bit steep, especially if you weigh up all of the facts under a fine tooth comb.
Allow me to explain: a pint of Fosters (5.0% alcohol) – if we're going solely by the UK metrication standards, of course – is 568 ml. A bottle of Becks (5.1% alcohol) – being smaller, you understand – is merely 330ml. Taken quantitatively, a bottle of Becks is 238ml less than a pint of Fosters, and since there is only 0.1% volume of alcohol which separates the two beers, it stands to reason that the bottle of Becks should by proxy be cheaper than a pint of Fosters.
I mean, come on, it's hardly rocket science, is it? To charge £3 for a bottle of Becks whilst charging an identical price for a pint of Fosters just doesn't make any financial (or metrical) sense whatsoever. If we consider my above estimations, the sensible retail price to charge for a bottle of Becks is approximately £1.74, largely because that takes into account the difference between how much fluid you consume from a bottle, and how much you can consume from a pint.
When I grilled the barmaid on how she (or her manager) could justify such a high price for a bottle of Becks in comparison to a pint of Fosters, she explained that Eli Thompson, owner of Margate's Westcoast Bar, charges the exact same prices in his venue (although admittedly I don't have any evidence for this other than the barmaid's word), so she dismissed my complaint on the grounds that every other pub charges the same price; so, in other words, "Cough up, you cheapskate!".
The sad fact is, people still buy it. Who, I wonder? Alcoholics, perhaps? But even then, they'd probably be hitting harder stuff than beer admittedly. But my point is that I have witnessed (and not for the first time either) how certain establishments in Margate basically try and rip you off, for no justifiable reason whatsoever. I mean, sure, everybody's got to make a profit, but be bloody sensible about it, because charging £3 for a bottle of Becks amounts to little more than daylight robbery, in my opinion.
In fact, one quick jaunt over to the Doggett Coat & Badge and the Wig & Pen revealed that a bottle of Becks is, indeed, cheaper than a pint of Fosters, so I don't see why the Venus Taverna can't follow suit and simply lower their prices. Perhaps they're trying to attract a better class of clientele. In which case, if this supposed 'better class' are stupid enough to pay £3 for a bottle of Becks then they're welcome to the bloody place. Does anybody else agree that this is completely extortionate? If so, I think it's about time we started a consumer backlash. Then again, every other punter I tried to tell about this scandal were too drunk to care, so I don't expect to be seeing it on Watchdog any time soon. Let me know your thoughts.