The unprinted cocktail price
I got the following e-mail from Janine this morning, written last night after a frustrating evening out.
I'm not going to name the restaurant because I haven't heard management's side, and that's not really the point. I can see how ordering a drink "in a tall glass" could be misconstrued -- or taken advantage of.
The point is that there is ample room for either error or for making a little extra on the liquor bill when cocktail prices aren't printed.
Not only that, these days restaurants may be more concerned about the bottom line than customer retention when you try to straighten the problem out.
More than ever it's a good idea to ask if you don't know what your drink is going to cost, but you care when you get the check.
Here's Janine's e-mail: ...
Two friends and I headed to [Chez Restaurant] tonight for what we hoped would be a new favorite spot. The food was good, although a bit pricey. We got the chicken gyro, southwest cobb, and muffaletta panini. All three were good enough that we decided we'd be back. Then we got the bill.
Never in my life have I wished that I was a food critic more than tonight! Our check was $125 - before tip! We had ordered Bacardi and Diet Cokes to drink. Our other friend had 3 Stella's. The Bacardi and Diet's ended up being $12 each. Between the two of us, we had 7. That's $84 in drinks between 2 people! Absurd! I was shocked.
I asked to speak to the owner and she said that she spoke to her server who said we ordered doubles. Humm.mm.mm. well, seems to me there was a misunderstanding - we ordered them in a tall glass. . . so a tall glass is now a double . . . at $12 a piece? Am I in New York? The owner said all she could do was give us 10% off - so, we'd get a gift card for $12.50. A gift card? It was a complete insult. As pissed as I was over this "misunderstanding" and considering we paid for at least her purchase of four 1.75 liters of Bacardi , why couldn't she simply apologize for the "misunderstanding" and taken off the "doubles"? I would have been happy to pay for 7 Bacardi and Diet's - not 14 - I would not be walking out of her bar if I alone consumed 7 drinks in the two hours we were there - and certainly not capable of writing 30 minutes later!
The saddest part is, I would have gone back. But, not now. Be careful if you go - order beer - stay away from all mixed cocktails unless you're looking to break the bank. It's a shame. Since we go out at least twice a week, we were really looking for a new place to go - and excited to have thought we found one. Where is customer service these days? It's lost in greed. Why don't people realize that a happy customer is worth more than a Bacardi & Diet ?
I hope you can help me in some way in venting my frustration. This isn't the first restaurant that has taken advantage of the unprinted cocktail price.