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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Dining Disasters & Deceptions - Part 3

"The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions."

Salutations to one and all!  Yes.  You!  You're included too.  As salutations are of minimal expense to me, I offer them to all.  Take it before the price increases.

Okay.  Today is Part 3 of Chucky's tirade against unnecessary restaurant practices.  After today I shall settle down and smell the roses.  But until tomorrow please allow me to tell you what Polonia Polish Restaurant has done to Tiffany and I.

This one hurt.  I still feel the sting and hurt many weeks afterwards.  What used to be one of our new favorite hidden restaurant gems is now fading into a favorite of the past.  Several weeks ago when served our bill I was quite surprised at the total.  It simply did not seem quite right.  I thought perhaps they had accidentally totaled another table's foods onto our bill.

I suppose I should prelude into how they tally their bills at Polonia.  You are served a hand-written itemized "Guest Check" before providing them means of payment.  I prefer to utilize a credit card and seldom, if ever, scrutinize the bill.  You leave with a credit card receipt summary (no detail or itemization).  I simply assume that the server has done their job and I am being charge just what I have ordered at the agreed menu prices.

After our inquiry to the server, here is what we found wrong with this particular bill:
  1. The only two entrees on the menu that we vegetarians could order (potato pancakes & pierogi) had gone up $1.00 each.
  2. Asking that our pierogi be fried instead of simply boiled costs an extra $1.00.
  3. Want a refill on the bread basket?  "Extra Basket of Bread" is now a menu item ($4.99).
  4. The desert items on our bill had been mispriced.  When we pointed out to the server that the price on the counter was less than what they had charged, they seemed surprised and apologized.
Again, what bothers me isn't price increases (although I question why so many increases at a single time) but why it came as a surprise to me.  Why not inform you clientele when they place their order(s)?  "Just so that you are aware, this item has risen $1.00 in price since last week.  Is this acceptable?" seems such a simple approach to doing business. 

If the quality of the food, the ambiance, and service are commensurate of the price increase(s), then patrons will return.  If not, then the pricing structure is probably above that which can be asked.  It's the old "supply and demand" theory in practice.

Tiffany and Chucky?  Our specific qualms with our bill?
  1. Why were we not informed of the menu increases?  I'm okay with the pricing structure to some degree.  Admittedly however, these prices shall now curtail my frequency of visits.  In my opinion, just a nudge over what I consider acceptable pricing for the items I normally order.  Not outrageous in price but my hard-earned dollars can best be spent elsewhere.
  2. Extra for frying pierogi?  I'm not Polish but I thought fried was the "standard" fare.  Again, if you're going to charge extra please inform me so.  Next Polonia visit?  You can bet I won't order my pierogi fried.
  3. Again.  I felt cheated when I was charged for what used to be free.  I don't mind them charging for extra but inform me so.  All I ask is that you please extend me this courtesy.
  4. Okay.  Honest mistake.  I can accept this.  It happens.
Let me be fair to Polonia.   They make OUTSTANDING dishes, it's a most pleasant place to dine, and I will be returning.  However, I shall be much more cautious of what I order and I shall regularly scrutinize the menu and my bill.  The food will be as tasty but I do not expect the dining experience to be what it once was.

In my next blog I purport to step off of my anger pedestal and focus on those most enjoyable dining establishments such as Wrap Planet, Maitland Breakfast Club, Loving Hut and Green Day Cafe amongst others.  If not for the many, many wonderful places to dine-out I would simply stay and eat at home everyday.

(to be continued)

Hi-dee hi-dee you-have-been-warned-to-scrutinize-you-menus-and-bills-ho my friend.

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