Restaurants are being accused of ripping off wine producers by shamelessly selling their wines for the kind of money that will allow them to stay in business.
Coining it in
‘We probably make less than €1 profit on a wine leaving our cellar for €5,’ said Che Michal-Leake, of Bodegas Cacko Grande in Valencia. ‘Yet that same bottle ends up on wine lists in London and New York for six or seven times that price. How can that be right?’
Restaurants, he said, were ‘coining it in for doing literally nothing.
‘Apart from fitting out a venue, staffing it, investing thousands in a cellar, cooking the food and working until 2am five nights a week.
‘It’s a disgrace.’
Restaurateur Terence Quornran pointed out that one month’s ground rent on a west London eatery would probably be enough to buy the whole of Bodegas Cacko Grande, including equipment and half the staff, and that they ‘had to make money from somewhere.’
But Michal-Leake said the whole economics of supply and retail needed a rethink.
‘It really annoys me that waiting staff might be making more money off my wine with a 10% tip than I do from selling it,’ he told Fake Booze. ‘No two ways about it, these minimum wage serving people are just vile capitalist profiteers.’
We had it tough
The extreme wealth of serving staff was, he said, in stark contrast to the difficulties faced by noble wine producers, particularly those selling into the UK who now faced many extra costs.
‘Since Brexit we have to pay for Jancis Robinson to personally weigh and approve each of our bottles,’ he said. ‘Not to mention having to host at least one ‘sustainability round table’ at a London private members club every month.
‘And while we can barely afford a new tractor, these waiting staff are coining in the tips and driving home every night in Lamborghinis.’
Michal-Leake suggested a new, more equitable form of capitalism, where ‘everybody makes less and we all go bust together.’
Research by Fake Booze has revealed that restaurants don’t just turn a profit from their wine list.
Shockingly, every item sold, from food to coffee and even bottled water, is designed to make money, with the real prices often cunningly concealed in black and white on a large chalk-board or menu.
‘Every time you buy something, whether it’s a steak, a tasting menu or something stupid made out of jackfruit you are lining the pocket of these ruthless chisellers,’ said restaurant analyst Stacey Drooley.
Soaking the rich
Restaurant mark-ups have regularly come under the media spotlight, with critics often questioning the four and five-figure price tags attached to some of the world’s best wines.
‘I saw a bottle of Petrus on sale in a San Francisco restaurant for $5000, and I’m pretty sure it costs, like, fifty bucks or something in Walmart,’ said idiot jobbing hack, Mona Lott.
‘It’s shocking the way venues are ripping off some of the world’s wealthiest non-tax payers.’