Luxe Singapore Owner Apologises For Bad Experience, Offers Free Brunch
Few things are as welcoming in this sweltering weather than a scoop of ice cream.
And that’s exactly what two girls sought on Tuesday (8 May) when they visited Luxe Singapore.
The upmarket cafe on Keong Saik Road is famed for its classy decor as well as its Oz-inspired food.
But what should have been an afternoon treat escalated into an argument over rentals, race and Singapore’s cafe’s culture.
We break down the meltdown after the jump.
A birthday treat gone wrong
On Tuesday, blogger Cheowster and a friend visited Luxe Singapore, where they ordered a scoop of ice cream.
According to her, the cafe was almost-empty when they visited, save for other Caucasians who appeared to be there for business-related meetings.
She claims that 15 minutes later, the cafe’s Caucasian owner asked the duo if they needed a drink.
According to Cheowster, the conversation went down this way:
Owner: Hey, can I get you something? Maybe a drink?
Customer: Oh, no worries, we are good, thank you.
Owner: Are you sure? How about a coffee?
Customer: I think we are going to go cafe hopping, so it’s alright.
Owner: Come on, are you just going to have ice cream? You’ve already taken pictures here, used our space – get a drink!
Customer: We are going around to other cafes so…
And with that, Cheowster claims that the owner “stomped” away.
Things worsened when the two customers tried to pay for their ice cream.
Cheowster writes that she was charged $11 for her order, double the price initially stated. However, she fails to elaborate on this in her post.
She claims that the owner of Luxe Singapore then approached her to tell her off.
Here’s her account of the conversation:
Owner: Guys, just a piece of advice. We owners have rent to pay, so if you’re gonna take up space in the restaurant, you should at least get more than just a scoop of ice cream.
Customer: I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that?
Owner: No, it’s wrong. You can’t just do that when we have rents to pay.
Customer: You know, I have never come across a cafe rep like you. Don’t worry, I won’t be coming back again to save you the trouble.
Owner: Please, I don’t want you here too. Don’t just go to a cafe buying a f***ing ice cream. Do us a favour, thank you.
This exchange left Cheowster in tears. A few hours later, she took to social media to share her experience.
She also left a review on Luxe Singapore’s Facebook page, giving the eatery a 1-star rating.
In what she called “purely a genuine review”, Cheowster gave her side of the story. She ended by wondering aloud if her treatment was racially-motivated:
Funny thing though, we noticed that the other customers, Caucasians in business suits and using their laptops, only had coffee on their tables. Perhaps Asians weren’t welcomed. Just my two cents.
Luxe Singapore responds
That post attracted more than 30 likes and 5 comments.
While Luxe Singapore didn’t comment publicly, Cheowster claims that the cafe did reach out to her in a private message.
In it, the owner apologised for his “outburst” and explained his actions. He wrote,
You bore the brunt of my reaction to customers using our space as nothing more than a place to do work/take photographs.
He then went on to explain the difficulties of the F&B scene here.
When we spend so much on making a beautiful space, and have to pay such exorbitant rental, it’s more than frustrating when customers buy no more than “a fucking ice-cream” to share between two people.
The owner also extended a free brunch for two at the cafe. Cheowster has clarified that she will not be returning, despite the offer.
His apology suggests that Cheowster was not lying about her experience at Luxe Singapore.
While he may have salient points about high rental costs in Singapore, we hope that cafes don’t take out their frustration on customers.
After all, an $11 ice cream is $11 earned.
But if cafes are really particular about making the most bang for their buck, why not implement a minimum order, the way P.S. Cafe has?
Sure, a “minimum one order per customer” sign may not be the nicest way to greet potential customers but hey, prevents situations like this.
Featured image from Luxe Singapore.