Simon Wood, former MasterChef champ and owner of Wood in Manchester, has sparked a debate about freebies today.
The celebrated chef has exposed a customer who emailed asking for a ‘complimentary dessert’ to help them mark a special occasion.
Simon has labelled their request as ‘unbelievable…’ as he shared a screenshot of the email in question.
The customer had written to Wood restaurant, on First Street, to ask: “As it’s the first anniversary from me and my husband, would it be possible to give us a good table with a nice view and a maybe a complimentary Dessert? As I want to surprise my partner.”
And Simon has slammed them for ‘trying to scrounge off small businesses’ as he sparked a debate about freebies on social media.
The chef-patron wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter: “Unbelievable…. Free food for celebrations, that’s why we’re here after all….”
Simon later wrote: “Restaurants aren’t here to give things away for free. Pop into McDonald’s and ask for a complementary cheeseburger and see what happens.
“People need to stop trying to scrounge off small businesses.”
Many people have agreed with Simon Wood, saying it would be ‘unfathomable’ that people would ask for freebies in any other industry.
Others agreed that complimentary extras are always nice but ‘you don’t ask for them’.
But some people think Simon has been too harsh and that the customer has done nothing wrong by at least asking.
On Simon’s side, one person wrote on X: “Nothing wrong in mentioning a celebration and asking for a nice table. But that is where it should stop. If the restaurant then want to treat you to a complimentary surprise then that is up to them.”
Another said: “Imagine this in any other industry. ‘Hi M&S, it’s my birthday! Can I have a free dress’. Unfathomable. To surprise your other half/celebrate, order things from the menu. Support restaurants when they desperately need it. Ensure there’s a place to go for a 2nd anniversary!”
Someone else commented: “I just don’t understand some people. Yes, it is nice to get freebies, but you don’t ask for them!”
And one agreed: “Asking for the table is definitely okay, asking for complimentary stuff is mental.”
But one person said: “Tbf, I’ve had a complimentary dessert served when it was my birthday, it was a lovely touch. To ridicule someone for asking is a bit much.”
Another posted: “They only asked. In the words of my very wise mother: Shy bairns get nowt.”
And someone else went so far as to say: “You’d think they had asked for the whole meal for free lmfao. You stingy a**hole”
What do you reckon? Was the customer in the wrong to ask Simon Wood for a freebie on their anniversary?
The Failsworth pizzeria with queues of delivery drivers and mac and cheese pizza
There are a lot of contenders vying for the title of the best pizza in Greater Manchester – but judging by the endless stream of delivery drivers traipsing up to Failsworth, Corner Slice might be up there…
This little pizzeria has carved out a niche for itself serving Detroit-style pizzas, and though some have attempted the same, no one comes close to this quality.
These deep-dish rectangular pizzas are made with a lighter, spongier dough than the sort of chewy Neapolitan you see a lot of these days.
They’re baked in a dish so that the edges crisp up perfectly, and with toppings and cheese spread right to the edges, you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Corner Slice has just raised the bar again with its menu of creative toppings, including – and brace yourself here – mac and cheese pizza.
The Lord Lane local clearly looked at its normal thick-based pizzas and went ‘hmm, no, not enough carb. Add pasta’.
The result is their oozy, gooey mac and cheese pizza called Mr Mac – a béchamel base with macaroni, smoked mozzarella, a cheese blend, and a pesto crumb. Oh lordy.
Other menu highlights include the Red Wing (nduja, jalapeños, pepperoni and hot honey) and Sunrise (Korean BBQ cauliflower, gochujang mayo, kimchi onions and pickled cucumber) – the former leaving you with streaks of bright red chilli honey up your arms, the latter so packed with flavour that you find yourself staring down at your slice in amazement after each bite.
And if you just can’t decide, you can always go half-and-half on your pizza topping.
It’s not just about the pizzas either.
Half-and-half Detroit-style pizza at Corner SliceParmesan waffle fries and buffalo chicken
Corner Slice also has incredible sides, like Korean BBQ popcorn chicken, parmesan waffle fries, and garlic dough rolls with rotating flavours.
There are dips too, made on-site, like the fermented hot sauce that’s probably most closely related to Buffalo sauce (but infinitely more interesting) and BBQ ranch.
The whole time we’re there (which is midday on a Friday) there’s a constant stream of delivery drivers coming to collect orders. The phone never stops ringing.
At one point, they take an order that’s fit to feed an entire American football team.
It looks like the future is bright for Corner Slice. And thank god – we’re already lusting after those crusts.
Corner Slice in FailsworthA spread of pizzas and sides at Corner Slice in Failsworth