A large group of students has been drinking in your pub for a couple of hours. One of them has just enough money to buy a pint which he takes off to the back room. Moments later, he returns with an empty glass and says he spilled it. He asks nicely if there’s any chance of a replacement on the house. One of your regulars chips in sarcastically: “I accidentally drank mine. Can I have a free one too?”
What would you do?
We saw this happen for real in a pub in the south east of England. What really happened?
The landlord smiled and gave him a free replacement pint without checking for a spill or interrogating him. He reminded his regulars that they’d had their fair share of free pints and roast potatoes in the past.
We assume the logic was that:
- the student had spent a fair bit of money and his friends were still spending
- even if it was a con it wouldn’t be likely that the student would have the nerve to try it again anytime soon and
- (although he probably didn’t quite put it in these terms) a show of generosity was good for his and his pub’s brand — the same reason restaurants give people free coffee if they complain about the steak.
We’ve got a few more of these to follow. Thanks to those of you who had a go this time.