THEY say nothing comes free.
A Mooloolaba family learnt this the hard way when police had to intervene during dinner at Hog's Breath Cafe to help settle a dispute over their "Kids Eat Free" meal deal.
The bill was eventually settled, but the family left unhappy and a Twitter rant ensued.
Stephanie Oldham, her family and a group of friends were at Hog's Breath Cafe at The Wharf on Tuesday night to celebrate a birthday.
The group, which included three children - Stella, 5, Heather, 6, and Jasper, 4 - picked the restaurant because they hoped to take advantage of a "Kids Eat Free" deal advertised for Tuesdays. Ms Oldham said she had called the restaurant to ask if the meal deal would be valid for them, which a staff member confirmed.
On arrival the group also asked a waitress again, just to be sure. "We were told 'Yes, kids eat free'," she said.
The group said they enjoyed their dinner, with the four adults each ordering a main meal and sharing two bottles of wine. Each child had a kids' serve of fish and chips.
However the party mood was soon soured when they discovered they were being billed for the kids' meals too.
Ms Oldham said she queried the bill and asked again about the "Kids Eat Free" deal. The service manager said that to qualify for the deal, main meals had to be more than $20 each as stated in the terms and conditions.
"That wasn't pointed out to us when we asked," Ms Oldham said.
"The manager told us it was not their responsibility to tell us the terms and conditions and that it was my job to find it out myself."
They were told that if they did not pay, police would be called. Police did arrive, and said it was up to the patrons and the restaurant to sort it out civilly.
The family asked the officers if they would take some selfies with the kids.
"The kids were upset when the police arrived but made the most of getting to hang out with them," Ms Oldham said.
A police spokesman said they understood the bill was settled. Hog's Breath Cafe general manager Ross Worth said the restaurant wanted everyone who dined there to have a great experience, but declined to comment on the dispute.
"...There appears to be a communication issue between this particular franchise and the guests involved," he said.
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