Local restaurant owner Bill Hamby whines about the economy in an opinion piece in Flagpole, "Buy Local -- Like You Mean It." He essentially begs his customers to buy overpriced beverages so that he can stay in business. I found his piece offensive to customers, but I don't have to go off on my own rant since he has already been excoriated in the comments.
"So the fact that I come in and spend what I comfortably can these days isn't enough? We've taken pay cuts too. Deal with it," writes one reader. "So, you think telling me that you've been ripping your customers off when they order soft drinks or tea makes me want to eat at your restaurant?" writes another. And this comment really sums it up: "While I completely agree with your tipping argument I'm shocked you are demanding your customers get ripped off on drink orders. ... Everybody is feeling the pinch, berating your customers is not going to help."