The search for Ireland’s most honest travelling diners

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

Plenty of people complain about being overcharged by restaurateurs. But I can think of few customers who might contact the establishment to allege they have been undercharged.

But that’s precisely what happened at Dublin Airport, when two customers not only approached Marqette, the dynamic (and 2017 FAB Award-winning) food & beverage operator, but actually paid back the amount that had been undercharged. As I see it, ‘Customers refund restaurant’ deserves to be right up there with journalism’s most famous aphorism, ‘man bites dog’, for sheer unlikeliness.

Marqette won the Airport FAB Food Court of the Year Award in 2017 and proudly tells its customers about it

Nor did they stop there. They actually wrote a card to Marqette. And here’s what they said,

Dear Sir,

We had a coffee and scones in your lovely place while waiting for our flight last weekend. My friend had a small granola and yogurt which the lady placed on the scales but we did not see that it did not register with the amount due to be paid by us on the receipt after paying.

I do hope the enclosed €5.00 will cover the cost.

It was not seen by us until it was too late for the weighing again of the product – we were rushing to our flight. We look forward to eating with you again, making sure to check our receipt!

Thanking you [unsigned]

Restores your faith in human nature, doesn’t it? It certainly impressed Marqette, which decided to track down the customers and reward them with an extraordinary and appropriate reward.

“Honesty is a reward in itself but because of this customer’s integrity we would like to reward them with complimentary food and drink every time they visit Marqette in Dublin Airport ~ can everyone like and share this post to help us find this anonymous customer,” the company posted on its social media platforms.

The news spread with viral velocity across Irish mainstream and social media as the public and Dublin Airport joined in the search for the country’s most honest travelling diner. All, so far, to no avail.

Let’s try to change that. Who are those mystery travellers? To help the search, we’re offering the unknown diners a case of finest Hunter’s Sauvignon Blanc from my home country of New Zealand (founder Ernie Hunter was an Irishman) if they contact Marqette or Dublin Airport. Someone out there must know who they are.

Footnote: With consummate timing, Marqette this week announced it is trialing a new honesty-based food & beverage unit at Dublin Airport T1. An Honest Eats Co fridge will be installed later this month. Passengers will be able to pick the items they want from the fridge unit, scan them and pay via a cashless self-service checkout, which accepts card and mobile payment.

Based on the tale of the anonymous traveller above, I doubt Marqette will experience many problems with Irish customers not paying.