Leeds Ugly Mugs Café up for sale as owner 'gets the hump' over card payments

Owner Jason Cunningham infront of Ugly Mugs Cafe
-Credit: (Image: Samuel Port)

The owner of Leeds’ Ugly Mugs Café is putting the shop on the market after condemning the 'nightmare' of modern trade.

Owner Jason Cunningham is sick and tired of having to fork over a ‘four-figure-sum’ to his bank for customer card payments every year. He’s called the practice a ‘nightmare for theft’ and says he hates modern technology.

Jason, 54, has got 'the hump’ and is ready to retire. He’s spent four years in charge of the curious café opposite the AMT Headingley Rugby Stadium in St Michael’s Lane.

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During that time, Jason has been ‘terrified’ of rugby and cricket fans alike as he’s served up food and drink during big events, leaving him shattered as he’s worked none-stop without a business partner he can trust to serve up quality grub.

The 54-year-old is ready to say sayonara to the business and collect his well-earned pension. He’s imploring anyone who’s interested in the business to just ‘come in’ and make him an offer he can’t refuse.

He does love making good food and chatting to customers but working ‘six days a week’ has been brutal for him. He’s even worked ‘40 days in a row’ due to sporting events falling on a Sunday. He thinks the business would ideally be suited to a pair of owners who can share the workload.

Ugly Mugs Cafe owner Jason Cunningham, infront of his venue on St Michael's Lane, Headingley
Ugly Mugs Cafe is on sale for an undisclosed fee -Credit:Samuel Port

The main bugbear Jason hasn’t been able to shake is having to pay so much money to the banks over card payments which he’s likened to ‘theft’.

Jason said: “The food business is a nightmare for theft. Since Christmas, nearly everyone uses card which I don’t like because it’s slow and means I’ve got to give money to the bank.

“Something has happened to my world since Christmas. It used to be 50/50, whether someone would be pay with card or cash. Now it’s like 85 per cent on card. Something has happened! I think everyone is just putting stuff on credit.”

Jason much prefers cash as it’s much quicker to exchange the dosh before he fries you an egg and beans, rather than fumbling around with contactless equipment with cashless payments.

Ugly Mugs Cafe staff with owner Jason Cunningham (right) during a frantic day of trade serving cricket fans -Credit:Samuel Port

Jason said: “I don’t like it because it’s a lot slower, cash is a million times quicker and if they pay card then I pay two per cent to a bank and I don’t want to. Over the course of a year, it’s a lot of money, it’s four figures I’m just giving away which could be going in my pocket.

“If someone took £1,500 a year off you, you’d get the hump! I’ve got no problem with people using card, I’ve got a problem with the banks taking loads of money off me. And I have to faff with phones and card machines which don’t work. I don’t like technology. I don’t like the modern world, it’s horrible. It isn’t normal.”

The café is on sale for an undisclosed figure. Jason is open to prospective buyers phone up the café or visiting for a chat about the opportunity.

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