“Was shocked and taken aback to find the new Coffee/bread shop, Rhodes, in Greenwich town centre charging an extra 70p to put a slither of butter – which was actually soft margarine – on my 80p scone. On complaining about this,assistant said couldn’t do anything about it, down to the owner!! Told them not a very clever thing to do,especially local residents!! Has anyone else had any bad experiences there??”
The Phantom replies:
I think they’re still playing with their prices. When I went in there in the first couple of days, I had a pleasant chat with the American guy who seems to be in charge of the actual shop, and he asked me what I thought of the ‘then’ prices, saying that they didn’t really know what to charge – I guess because there isn’t a comparable outlet in the area – an actual shop rather than a stall, artisanal baked goods and a small sit-down area, though I was mildly surprised they hadn’t visited other similar places in the capital to check out their prices, which, I’m guessing they have done now.
The thing is, is that this IS a tourist area, and the CAN get that sort of money for a scone and butter (are you sure it was marg?) when people are expecting to pay for a day out. I also suspect that the shop is not a cheap place to rent and the good old fashioned ‘overheads’ are kicking in. It’s probably not just representing the price of the spread, but also the fact that you’ll be sitting down’ to consume it. I’m not sure if there are different tax prices if a scone stops being a ‘raw material’ and becomes in the government’s eyes ‘a sit down meal.’ Maybe someone can enlighten me?
BUT. In the winter months especially, when the tourists aren’t forthcoming and they rely on us locals, especially with the looming recession, 70p for a scrape of butter does seem a bit excessive, even if you’re paying realistic wages to your staff (you are paying realistic wages to your staff, guys, now, aren’t you..?)
Here’s a thought, Rhodes guys. Why not do a residents’ discount – I don’t know – free butter on your bun or something – easy enough created by talking to the GreenwichCard department at the Council. Giving us locals a discount will create a hell of a lot more goodwill than it will cost you in butter, and it will keep us coming through thick and thin.
Or maybe a loyalty card? I have about four of them for Beehive, as I keep forgetting to bring them with me, but I’m determined that one day I’ll bring them all together and get myself a free flat white.
I still love Rhodes. I’m not quite so fond of their brownies as their other stuff – mine was really rather dry and sugary but those raspberry custard tarts, the giant meringues and, yes – those scones – are fab. IMHO it’s a massive contribution to Greenwich Town centre, and not just because it’s a proper bakery where we only had Greggs before. It sends out a signal to other high quality shops that don’t exclusively pander to the tourist trade that Greenwich is ready for nice food, friendly service and attractive surroundings. I’m a regular, so I’d most definitely appreciate a loyalty card system/Greenwichcard Discount/ both.
So what do you think? Is Rhodes losing it’s shine, or do we need to be a little indulgent of a new, high quality business?