Butter is Opt-Out.

How hard can it be? Really?
A disturbing trend has risen since the Chief Ranter left his Melbourne based locale for the sandy land…. 

I have experienced what the title of this rant alludes to several times now, across several venues and I now wince in reflection of same.

It is a situation that is irritating beyond belief and turns the grinning joy of what should be the happiest way to start the day into a dark cloud covered countenance... with a side order of 'grimace of disappointment'.

To be truthful, I’m almost reluctant to share for fear that the ‘naming’ the trend shall give it weight, and reality.

But enough is enough, on to the meat of the matter.

It’s the blight of poached eggs on dry toast.

And no butter.

Because right there and then, as the naming occurred, you knew the problem.

Poached eggs are WET. You put them on dry toast and the toast gets SOGGY.

Poached eggs need butter as the barrier to sogginess.

Butter is not, and cannot ever be, OPT-IN. It is OPT-OUT

I am surprised that businesses have not thought through the implications of this.

Let’s face it, if you are a 'Butter-is-an-Opt-Out' kind of person, you are also likely to be the one who is going to cheerfully say, “Sure I’ll have bacon as a side, thank you for suggesting. Another coffee? Don’t mind if I do”

Café owners - Why haven't you considered that life (and business) has got to be more lucrative and easy if you cultivate a “Butter is an Opt-Out, my poached eggs deserve a barrier” style of clientele?

Having "Butter-is-an-Opt-Out" is going to increase your average customer spend, right?

Well... maybe, but at the very least you'll have a more welcoming vibe to the 100 or so square feet you work so hard to pay the rent on every month.

Café Staff - happier clients, means happier tip jars. It is an unassailable fact of trade. Finish reading this post by all means, but start compiling an argument to put to the boss on the commencement of your next shift. This phenomena is costing you cash. Cold, hard, CASH.

What small eateries don't want is an abundance is the "Butter-Opt-In" person.

To be frank, the B-O-I brigade is a pain in the arse. Their ineptitude of dealing with choices within the menu that they find themselves peering deridedly over usually leaves them with simply not enough options.

Sure, there are likely to be 50 or so items listed on the no doubt fabulously printed tome but none of them suit the fussier folk.

The apparent lack of options that suit their individual necessities, though, seems to offer some kind of perverse enjoyment. They are reaffirming their state as that of an individual. SO individual that cafe's simply don't understand them.

Whining menu changes will no doubt ensue: “Double skim soy latte, no chocolate on top”, and then continuing by being all sniffy at the sourdough listed because it isn't gluten free.

I put that it is actually bad for business catering to the sniffly few.

Back to the eggs and toast though, and the lack the waterproofing membrane that is butter:

The first few times I was served this no-butter abomination I marveled at the venue, thinking how kind it was that they were employing kitchen staff with diminished mental capacity.

Such tolerance, though, can only go so far.

I made sure that I had my 'Miss Assertive' hat firmly in place before venturing in to the next cafe, vowing to see if I could gently educate those responsible for serving my breakfast should they produce another disappointment in the egg/bread combo department.

“How did you enjoy your breakfast”? asked the guy behind the counter.

“Well, not all that much. I think you need to have a word with your chef “ (ok, he was probably a cook, but I thought flattery would get me further).

“Oh, why’s that?”

“He is committing the cardinal sin of serving poached eggs on dry toast – it means the toast gets soggy. The eggs are scooped out of water you see”. I gestured feebly, imitating a scooping motion. Although why I thought that poached eggs would be removed from boiling water using ones bare hands is beyond me.

The cook was standing, very still, farther along the counter, a look of concern broke accross his face, although that look could have been misinterpreted as intimating that " is Carlisle St, after all."

I stammer, “ The butter, it acts as a barrier.”

Then mumble, "Butter is Opt-Out"

Counter guy nodded sympathetically, “Yes, I had the same problem last week. But what you have to do is ask for your eggs on the side”

WTF? So then it is NOT poached eggs on toast?

Miss Assertive reappeared then. “I could. Or I could just not breakfast here again”

Hands up cafes of Balaclava / St Kilda East. Are you Butter Opt-in or Opt-Out?

Jennifer Frahm, rarely rants. She's a tweeter, not a fighter and can be found at @jenfrahm.
Her normal blogging has a more helpful tone, and addresses business, change and communication at


  1. Toast with no butter is no toast at all! They should call it Poached Eggs On Dry Bread. It's false advertising. We should sue them all.

  2. That's the spirit... someone needs to call for a class action.


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