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Old 07-10-2010, 02:18 PM   #161
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I went to Applebees the other day. Ordered a half-salad. We go there maybe a couple times a year because it is near some shopping we need to do, or to drop stuff off at Goodwill, and the flavors and portions agree with us. The half salad was way more than I could finish, and I had other stuff to do so didn't want to lug it home with me. Out of curiousity, I asked our waitress if anyone had ever finish a "whole" salad. She replied not in the year or two she'd worked there.

One solution used to be to split a meal. But now (have not asked at Applebees) they charge a plating fee ... when I was younger it would be a dollar or three, so it was still worth it not to throw away food. Some of us were raised, not only to clean our plates, but that throwing away good food was somewhere between criminal and sinful, certainly immoral. Now the plating fee can be higher than the second meal would have been.

Very few people I know, certainly my family, are light eaters. We all like our food and my husband and I resent buying more food than we want to eat when we go out and cannot take the food home for some reason. Now, I've been out with acquaintances who pick at an expensive meal and push it away, then don't take a "doggie bag" because it's beneath them or they "don't eat leftovers" (trust me, when a gal visiting ate one bite of a perfectly good, hug porterhouse and didn't like the crab leg appetizer she ordered because the crab legs had been split for her and they don't do that where she lives), you bet your patootie that I had it all bagged up and hubby and I ate it for days.

But, really, I cannot explain why restauranteurs do this. That said, I've never asked any of the restauranteurs I know fairly well why they do. If I think about it next Friday (my day to go out), I'll ask. It just seems they'd rather charge more and throw the food away (and, yes, I've worked in restaurant service and saw what got thrown out many moons ago, and food portions have gotten ridiculously larger than in those days, in the late 70s) rather than charge a little less and give you the food you want.
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Old 07-10-2010, 02:47 PM   #162
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A $3 plating fee for splitting your meal with a friend??? Oh ,for the love of God...what will they think of next.

I wonder what they would say if you asked "Can you just bring me an extra plate and I'll plate it myself?" Afterall, it says "plating" not "plate".

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Old 07-10-2010, 02:47 PM   #163
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Restaurants make their money on keeping tables full. They plan on turning tables over every "X" number of minutes and figure an average dollar amount for each check.

So if they can seat a new group of four (for example) at a table every 90 minutes and the average check is $60.00 then they can count on making $180.00 during a 4 1/2 hour dinner period. Multiply that by 50 tables and you have $9,000.00 per dinner period for the restaurant.

If you serve smaller portions and charge less (average check of $40.00), customers won't turn over any faster so you have smaller checks and less income for the same period of time. $40.00 per check times three seatings = $120.00 instead of $180.00. That works out to $6,000 for 50 tables rather than $9,000. That's a big difference.

Restaurants don't care what you do with the food after you order and pay for it. You can eat it all, take it home or leave it there and they make the same amount of money.

Some customers will see that as a waste and others will see it as "Two meals for the price of one" because they can take leftovers home for another meal.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:11 PM   #164
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Wait a minute, Andy. I understand that you are saying that if you take up space in the restaurant for 2 people then the restaurant deserves 2 paid meals. But if they want 2 paid meals for every 2 customers then why are they serving a portion too large for one to finish, yet just right for 2?

It's almost like they are forcing you to waste food or forcing you to pay $13 for your meal that is suppose to be $10 according to the menu. Why don't they just be honest on their menu and add in the extra $3 to the price and say "serves two". Afterall, Claire said that the waitress said 100% of her customers could not eat the whole salad.

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:31 PM   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyanne View Post
...Why don't they just be honest on their menu and add in the extra $3 to the price and say "serves two"...
Because then they would have a $13.00 check for the table instead of a $20.00 check.
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Old 07-10-2010, 03:46 PM   #166
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No, the restaurant would still have a $13 check for the table...because $13 dollars (which includes the $3 sharing fee) IS what they're charging when people want to share...and the restaurant is okay with that.

I'm saying to advertise it honestly upfront as a $13 meal that possibly serves 2 instead of a $10 meal that 100% of the time requires a $3 fee for sharing...which ultimately ticks off the customer.

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Old 07-10-2010, 04:59 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by mollyanne View Post
No, the restaurant would still have a $13 check for the table...because $13 dollars (which includes the $3 sharing fee) IS what they're charging when people want to share...and the restaurant is okay with that.

I'm saying to advertise it honestly upfront as a $13 meal that possibly serves 2 instead of a $10 meal that 100% of the time requires a $3 fee for sharing...which ultimately ticks off the customer.

.
That was the basis of my post. If it's not advertised as a meal for two, each of the two diners will order separately for a check totaling $20. More money for the seating than a split meal for $13.
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Old 07-10-2010, 06:05 PM   #168
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If it's not advertised as a meal for two, each of the two diners will order separately for a check totaling $20.
But the diners will not order separately because each meal is an outrageous portion. They will opt to share the $10 meal with a surprise $3 fee for "plating" as the restaurant offers. The restaurant ends up with 2 annoyed customers.

If the restaurant wants $20 for 2 meals instead of the $13 for two then they should print it on the menu that they want $10 per meal and then make them a smaller portion that the customer won't want to share. The customers leave happy that they weren't charged a hidden fee and they didn't waste any food.

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Old 07-10-2010, 07:21 PM   #169
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mollyanne View Post
If the restaurant wants $20 for 2 meals instead of the $13 for two then they should print it on the menu that they want $10 per meal and then make them a smaller portion that the customer won't want to share. The customers leave happy that they weren't charged a hidden fee and they didn't waste any food.
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Ah, but you are using logic and when it come to large businesses and corporations logic does not apply, just the bottom line (i.e. profit). And I will bet that the majority of customers either leave the food or take it home, and very few ask to share. Sorry to be so cynicle but it is all about $$ with the big chains.

I remember reading somewhere a few year ago that it costs pennies to make the sizes bigger than ususal and they can charge a lot more $ and thus the profit margin is higher.

I have been trying to google and see if I can find the article. I'll post the link if I find it.
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Old 07-11-2010, 01:24 AM   #170
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okay . No need to find the article...I read that as well.

Excellent post, Claire. Many will be able to relate to what you have posted as do I.

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