'Ignorant tw*ts': Auckland restaurant under fire for 'hipster allergies' menu surcharge

A popular Indian street food restaurant has come under fire online for its $5 surcharge for "hipster allergies". 

An image of a menu from Satya Chai Lounge on K Road was posted to the New Zealand Reddit thread by Auckland-based user 'hsmithakl'. 

"I approve of the $5 Hipster Allergies surcharge [at] Satya Chai Lounge," they captioned the image. 

The menu reads: "Please let us know if you have any allergies or dietary needs, we will do our best to look after you, but we cannot guarantee traces of allergens will not be there," in bold print. 

The note is fairly at odds with its following addendum: "$5 surcharge for hipster allergies". 

The Reddit user added in a comment that they didn't think anyone with "legit allergies should be charged or made to feel stink". 

"But after having seen some over the top hipster-esque demands in hospo, I can see why they thought this was a funny way to pre-emptively nip it in the bud," they added.

"The food was great, and so was the general staff/vibe, FYI."

But others didn't see the funny side, with one commenter dubbing the restaurant owners "ignorant twats". 

"So someone with coeliac disease has to pay more because these ignorant twats think it's a 'hipster allergy?'" they wrote. 

Another person shared their own allergy experience. 

"Twice in the last three months, I've ended up floored for days by supposedly 'gluten-free' restaurant meals.

"Ironically, they can charge you an extra $5, and chances are you'll still end up spend the next 12 hours vomiting."

"I'm allergic to dairy and last week my soy intolerance had me locked in the bathroom of a bar completely sober - they're gonna call it hipster and make fun of the fact that I physically can't stomach the stuff?!" added another. 

"I get where they're coming from, but I don't want to pay someone $5 to judge me," reasoned another. 

Satya Chai Lounge owner Samrudh Akuthota told the Herald the surcharge was "a joke" and they do cater to alternative dietary requirements. 

"The hipster allergy was really put on there as a joke. We've never charged that and we never will," he said. 

"It's more a case of saying if you're going to be hipster and trendy by being vegan or gluten-free please tell us how serious it is. If it is going to be life-threatening, we will do our best to look after you."

It's not the first time a restaurant's blase attitude towards allergies has garnered backlash. 

A UK woman allergic to dairy says she was "stunned" earlier this year after being charged almost NZ$10 for soy milk at popular chain Starbucks, and a Perth restaurant came under fire from parents for using the phrase 'get those Epipens ready' when advertising a Reese's Peanut dessert. 



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