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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dining Disasters & Deceptions - Part 2

"Any seeming deception in a statement is costly, not only in the expense of the advertising but in the detrimental effect produced upon the customer, who believes she has been misled."

Good day.  May the warmth in your heart and smile upon your face bequeath the same unto others who you encounter this day.

Another disturbing trend that Chucky has noticed lately.  What's with all of this hidden "added costs" that I have noticed lately?  Let me try to share my point this way...  Which of the two seem the more appropriate to you?

Example 1, "Would you like to add cheese to that, sir?"  "It'll be an extra $0.25 per item."

Example 2. "Would you like to add cheese to that, sir?"  And then have $0.25 per item added onto your bill should you respond Yes.

Perhaps it's me and maybe I am simply too naive.  I'm the first to admit it's a very rough economy out there and just about everyone (except most CEO's perhaps) are scrapping by to make ends meet.  And, it's no less hurtful to the food service industry.  Prices (wholesale foods, materials, rent, salaries, insurances, licenses, utilities, etc.) keep rising and they simply must be passed along to you and I, the consumer.

But, what I don't understand is why not simply be upfront and honest with the clientele who help build their business and provide the patronage?  After all, I believe that everyone understands the need to raise prices and make adjustments to keep financial heads above the murky waters of today's economy.

Instead, some establishments that I visit are attempting to "sneak" rising costs onto my bill as opposed to sharing the truth.  "My costs are rising and I am forced to pass it along to you."  It's the truth and it may hurt your wallet but it's the right thing to do, don't you think?  I can think of two recent examples, one that was most apparent upon deliver of my bill and another I caught when scanning receipts into my home computer.

Let's begin with Lime Fresh Mexican Grill.  It's a most delicious new Miami-based establishment that recently opened a Winter Park location.  More about this place in a future blog perhaps.  In any case, amongst the items that Tiffany and I ordered were a few soft shell vegetarian tacos.  When asked, "Would you like grilled onions and peppers on that?" I assumed this meant at no extra charge.  After all, they are "v-e-g-e-t-a-r-i-a-n" tacos.  Hmm... according to a valid representation is:

As a matter of fact, this is how I interpret a menu items denoted as "vegetarian" to be simply that.  To include and be made of vegetables.  Besides, it's not like I am getting a price discount for passing up steak, ground beef, chicken or fish.  "Hey!"  "Here I go subsidizing the carnivore once again!"  <grrr>

I honestly did not mind ordering a vegetarian taco and paying the same as one containing cooked animal flesh (-aka- "meat").  Well... Actually I do but I knew (er... I thought I knew) what I was getting.  Imaging my surprise when I inspected my receipt to see $1.50 added to my taco order!!!  $0.25 per taco per item.  3 x grilled onion = $0.75 and 3 x grilled pepper = $0.75.

What was even more humiliating and helped add to the hurt?  I'd bet my next block of fresh tofu that none of these tacos had more than two slivers of either grilled onion and/or grilled bell pepper!!!  You had to hunt to see the grilled veggies in these tacos.  Ugh!!!