8/5/11

Please stop stealing our stuff.


Yesterday, I bought twenty four milk jugs. I really wanted the ones shaped like cows, but I knew they wouldn’t last a week before they were escorted off the premises in someone’s handbag. Last week, three of my favourite childhood books by Beatrix Potter were stolen from the pub, despite the inscription inside imploring people to enjoy them and then put them back. We deliver the bill in an old mathematical instruments set, reserve tables using old scrabble tiles and use specially selected vintage novels for our menus. They all go missing regularly. One day someone even robbed a picture off our wall, confirming the wisdom that convinced me not to hang my beloved Eoili painting in the pub.

Some items aren’t essential, so due to cost we don’t always replace them. We gave up on using vintage teaspoons, and now use mass produced ones instead. Similarly, the wasabi nuts now come in standard bowls bought from Nesbits instead of the lovingly chosen glass ramekins we started out with. We have taken our personal whisky/beer/food books out of the library. Some items though, like mini water jugs, egg timers and salt and pepper shakers are necessary and need to be replaced. It is becoming increasingly difficult to justify choosing ‘special’ items when they are disappearing with alarming frequency. Replacing pilfered items should not be a weekly task, wedged in between ordering and stocktake on a Monday. If we keep having to buy the same bowl, spoon, jug over and over, we will simply be left with no choice but to price it in to the menu. We do not want to do this.

With that in mind, we are declaring an amnesty on robbed items. We will place a box on the end of the bar from tomorrow, out of sight of the security cameras, and items can be returned, no questions asked. We only hope that it doesn’t backfire spectacularly and result in the amnesty box itself being robbed.


Seáneen

23 comments:

  1. Sounds like an opening for an in-house novelty store.

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  2. Sad, u try to be unique and different, offer a style with edge and u get stolen property instead!

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  3. That's really sad. On my recent visit to Jimmy's Farm he told us that the cute pig salt and pepper set on our table were the last ones - all the others had been robbed. What is wrong with people?

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  4. I was thinking exactly the same thing as the comment above. :) So disappointing people would steal items like that though.

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  5. why not buy more stock and have them for sale. Will not work for vintage but might for some 'modern' quirky stuff, Dominic

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  6. Disgraceful carry-on. Hate to say it but mayhaps you need to affix cctv or deploy security tags on valuable items. A big "beep" en route out the door might deter such hideous folk from pilfering in future!

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  7. Sarah (microgirlActual)August 5, 2011 at 8:33 PM

    Y'know something, I think putting a pricelist in the menus wouldn't actually be a bad idea. You could either price the items "realistically", with the expectation that some people would then take the option to purchase some souvenir merchandise, or price them stupidly high, so that people would know it wasn't a true option, but it would still highlight what's going on. You could even be so bold as to preface it with "Please don't steal our stuff. If you want it, you can buy it".

    I think you'd probably see a drop in your losses either way.

    Even if you don't go the "pricelist" route, a brazen "Please don't steal our stuff, we're not a large organisation and can't afford to keep replacing them", some kind of clear-cut, can't-miss-it, drawing to attention would have to make a difference. Because sadly most people taking the things probably aren't regulars and will see neither this post, nor the amnesty box.

    They just think "but it's just one little jug, it's hardly going to destroy them" but they don't think that 10 other people might have taken something that week. A poster or something makes it obvious and shames them into thinking twice.

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  8. Thanks for the comments of support. We realise that it is not likely with malice that people take the stuff, but the cost and hassle are starting to have a huge impact. We would love to be spending that money on improving the place rather than buying ramekin after ramekin. I also know we are not alone in the problem, but hope mentioning it might highlight the issue.

    Thinking we might go the 'pricelist' route.

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  9. I think the pricelist is a good idea and maybe a cheeky/light comment to go with it to say to avoid things being stolen.
    Hotels do it all the time regarding bathroom towels, robes, lotions etc.

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  10. Make sure things can't be stolen from the returns box!

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  11. "They are the reason we can't have nice things".

    I've never been to your place but i think I'll check it our now, sounds awesome!

    I would agree, put a sign saying "please dont nick our stuff, its all for sale if you really like it" and then price it reasonably. The psychological effect is that it lets people know how cheap they are being nicking it rather than buying it and it also combats the "I really want that, but cant have it so I'll nick it" mental excuse people give themselves.

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  12. I like the price list route. I think you should have it printed with the menus. People might actually buy them ;0)

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  13. Robbing swines. Your pub sounds full of character, just a pity certain people have to pilfer everything in sight. Hope you get your items back. x

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  14. There's a pub in London (Drink Shop & Do) that have everything for sale. Including all the art on the walls. It's all a bit overpriced, but it's a nice idea; and people are far less likely to steal things with a price tag attached, as that's 'actual' stealing.

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  15. the pricelist is a cool idea... and a nice way of telling people to cop on. It's so sad that people are this scabby.

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  16. Oh my god, that's shocking! I think Sarah's idea of a pricelist is great. A really good way to bring attention to the fact.

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  17. I hate to be a Negative Nancy but how can it NOT be with malice that people take stuff? L Mulligans is a gastropub, which means most of the clientel are ADULTS. There's really no way to accidentally take something that's not yours. So these people who take items that do not belong to them are clearly doing it with at least a bit of malice.

    So infuriating. :( L Mulligan Grocer is a neighorhood gem, run by well-meaning, earnest people who work their tails off. Show some respect, people!!!

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  18. Price list route for sure. Towns and cities need to keep and support these little gems. Respect to Mulligans!

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  19. Exploding security tags?

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  20. Desperados trying to create the same atmospheres in their poxy bedsits.. but robbing the atmosphere for everyone else.. how tragic. Eventually it will all disappear for everyone. Amnesties is not in everyones dictionary.. "what if someone sees me putting it back, branded a tealeave forever" Good luck with it! I think go with the price list idea :)

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  21. I know its a few motnhs old but I've just read this blog and it is awful, but I have a shameless plug for you... I run a small business specialising in vintage china for sale and for rental, so if you are thinking about selling jugs, bowls etc, or if you need to source some I might be able to help. Check out www.meauldchina.com for more info, and congrats on a great pub.

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  22. It's a very sad day when a quirky image and experience you have worked hard to create is sullied for everyone by petty thievery. I'm of the school of thought that asks staff if it's possible to buy one of the thing I've been eyeing up or where did they get it from so I can track one down for myself.

    I hope the Amnesty box has seen the return of some of your Beatrix Potter books at least.

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