Servers: Respect is a two-way street

We’ve all been there.  Sit down for a meal at a restaurant, giving our order to the server, and the server asks, “Would you like to add <insert special feature here>?”

You think that sounds good, so you say, “Yes, please.”

Fast forward about half an hour and you’re presented with the bill and there’s an unexpected charge included.  😐  What the deuce?

Now, to be clear, we’re not talking about adding a skewer of shrimp.  Of course that’s going to cost more and is usually listed on the menu.  We’re talking about adding a side of BBQ sauce, or some onions, things that are small and insignificant and not listed on the menu.  (Steak houses are really bad about charging $2 for 2c worth of onion.)

There’s a place we frequent that has everything ala carte.  In other words, if you want fries with your burger you have to order fries separate.  At this place I ask if I could substitute a croissant for the bun on a chicken sandwich.  The server said, “Sure.”  The whole way it went down told me it would be an even exchange.  Nope, it was an extra $2.  (This place also does not list prices for it’s specials.)

Bottom line, it’s dishonest in a lying-by-omission way, not to mention rude, to take an order that includes a charge and not warn the customer they will be upcharged.  Stop it.  Just stop it.

One more thing…

Servers… know your job.  And I mean prices.  For example, almost no menu anyplace includes prices for soft drinks… so I ask.  (I have an arbitrary limit I’m willing to pay.)  The most common answers I get are, “I think it’s <whatever>.”, or simply, “I don’t know.”, followed by them just standing there like a statue.  Ummm, could you go check?

I will say yesterday we had a wonderful server who knew the price and quoted it confidently.  Unfortunately, sodas were $3, which is way too much, so we had ice water… which is better for us anyway.  That being said…

I make them go check because I’ve been burned several times when I accepted the, “I think…”, answer and it turned out to be more.  Servers, know your job, that includes prices.

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