Leaf and Vine cafe owners speak after charging customer for heating up muffin

A customer who has sparked outrage after complaining online about a $1 surcharge to heat up her muffin at a coffee shop has come under fire for naming and shaming the business.

Motivational speaker and podcast host Peter Williams recently dined at the Leaf and Vine cafe in Ringwood, Melbourne’s east, where they charged $1 to warm up a $7 raspberry and white chocolate muffin.

She told her 26,000 Facebook followers that the charge to reheat the muffin, which she said was added to her bill without her knowledge, left a “real bitter taste” in her mouth.

The post, which went viral and sparked outrage among people online investigating the allegation, has since sparked a war of words between the owners and the customer.

On Wednesday, owners Bec and Pete Murray, who have run the Leaf and Vine for a decade, told Channel Nine’s A Current Affair that the allegation was a “mistake”.

But Williams soon hit back, saying he thought it was “specific, purposeful and perfectly in line with what they’re doing.”

Ms Murray told Channel Nine’s A Current Affair that the allegation was a “human error”.

“It was a mistake by someone in training,” he said.

Ms Murray said there were at least 2,000 options on the register, including pre-loaded options.

“Those 2,000 lots don’t always work out the way we plan,” he said.

“In this case, it didn’t work as it should. There was a surcharge, but it shouldn’t have been.”

Ms Murray, who said she heard about the social media storm from a friend, said Williams had named and shamed their business without contacting them about the incident.

He said it was “unfortunate” that when he contacted Mr Williams it took more than six hours for him to respond “after going through the barrage of comments about us on social media that condemn us”.

Mr Murray said if they had known about the allegation they would have released Williams’ entire bill.

On Thursday, Williams responded to Murray and Ms. Murray’s comments, telling NewsWire that he had refrained from public comment until now because he “thought the matter had been resolved.”

Williams told Newswire that he removed his Facebook post as soon as he could at the request of Mr. and Mrs. Murray.

“I accepted the removal of the post because (a) I did not intend to specifically call the business and (b) they apologized for the additional charges,” Williams said.

“I complied with this request as I felt for them, given the flood of attention the post received,

“In hindsight, I don’t know if I should have removed the post, but I felt it was the right thing to do at the time and at the request of the owners.”

Williams said she posted about the charge on social media rather than going to the cafe directly because she had already left the cafe when she noticed the charge and was traveling interstate.

He said he did not believe the charge was a mistake.

“To be honest, I didn’t think it was a mistake — system, intern or otherwise,” Williams said.

“The charge was specific, targeted and perfectly aligned with their actions. It’s no different than the almond milk and mug charges on the previous receipt from the cafe.

“I felt the accusation, and more importantly, it was wrong not to talk about the accusation, so I spoke out.”

Mr Williams denied defaming the cafe and said he did not post for likes or content, but to “let people know to look at their receipts and call out bad business practices”.

“People have had some pretty sneaky accusations coming from all directions.”

But he said he was made the “bad guy” because he “shouts something that affects everyone”.

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