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.