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Topic - Eating sandwiches in a pub garden

Trangia - on 13 May 2014
At the weekend I was with a party of 10 doing a walk through the High Weald. We stopped at a pub and all 10 of us bought a drink and 4 ordered a meal. We all went into the garden where there was plenty of spare space on the benches and tables. Those who had not ordered meals started eating their sandwiches. We were just about to go in to order another round of drinks when the landlady came out and started shouting abuse at us for eating sandwiches in her garden. She was very abusive, so we packed up, ordered no more drinks and left to go and eat them in the churchyard whilst we waited for the 4 with meals to join us.

Now whilst I understand that the pub is a business and selling food is important to them, I think she was out of order because

a) We had all bought drinks, and would all have bought another round

b) It was obvious that we were one party and 4 had bought food

c) We were not taking up sitting space in the garden from other potential customers who might buy food. There was only one other couple in the garden

d) Her attitude put our backs up and we are unlikely to go there again, plus we will tell our friends - not good for business

OK we were out of order in assuming rather than asking her, but I think she over reacted.

What do others think about pubs that won't allow people to eat sandwiches in their garden if they have bought drinks? I'm talking about quiet times where you are not stopping meal paying customers from getting a seat. Obviously if seating and tables are at a premium then it's unreasonable to expect to do it.
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