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dump123456789's Profile

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Sketchy or not ?

I don't actually have as strong a reaction to the place & policy, as some of you have to my question.

I found the situation odd, which is why I asked, and why I used the word "sketchy" as opposed to "deceptive" or "dishonest". As SAHCook points out, it makes more sense to make the product appear to have a higher value by advertising all the inclusions, so I was trying to understand why they might not do that. From an economics POV, perhaps a better word would have been "irrational". And since businesses aren't supposed to act irrationally, why is this one doing just that ?

FYI, menus/websites are republished with some regularity at this place - I think twice since the price increase. And I found out about the policy change when a member of my party ordered a drink that was not charged on the bill, so I asked about it.

In other threads, posters have commented/complained about restaurants that provide free bread, but only if the customer asks for it. For me, this falls into a similar category.

Jan 20, 2012
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Sketchy or not ?

From a customer service POV, I don't see the point of not making the policy change known. In general, the hiding of information seems similar to the non-disclosure of the price of specials, except in this case, the customer would have no reasonable expectation of having to ask the necessary question to elicit the hidden information.

Jan 20, 2012
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Sketchy or not ?

A restaurant has a nice buffet for about $40 per person. The price has been the same for several years. The price recently increased by 10%. Assuming the cause was inflation, we never thought to ask about the increase.

It turns out that the increase now covers the price of non-alcoholic drinks (which must be ordered from the server). The previous price did not cover drinks. However, nowhere on the website or menu is it mentioned that drinks are now included etc. The only way a returning customer would find out about this change is if they ordered a non-alcoholic drink and found it not included on the bill, or if they happened to overhear a newcomer sitting nearby who asks the server.

Does this seem sketchy to you ?

Jan 17, 2012
dump123456789 in Not About Food

So you *would* eat dog... Why?

It's a form of meat, not uncommonly eaten by certain other cultures, that doesn't give me the heebie jeebies thinking about eating it. So, why not ?

Really, how is your question any different than when applied to any food that you don't commonly eat, that is eaten by people in other cultures ? ie. how is your question any different if "dog" were replaced with "rabbit", "snake", "raw fish", "frog", "snails", "seaweed", "squid", "jellyfish" etc. ?

In my mind, the question isn't "why ?" but rather "why not ?".

Jan 04, 2012
dump123456789 in General Topics

Are blood oranges to be found in S. Bay area?

Don't know the prices, but there's a vendor at the Mountain View farmer's market on Sundays who sells them.

Dec 21, 2011
dump123456789 in San Francisco Bay Area

Sanitation of items in "bulk food" section of the market?

I've seen people with dirty finger nails using their hands to pick food directly from the bulk bins - stuff like trail mix and seasoned nuts/pretzels - and eat it. So the only stuff I buy from the bins is stuff you can't eat out of hand, and that will be rinsed or cooked at high temperatures.

Dec 15, 2011
dump123456789 in General Topics

Ikea's food market

Yikes. I saw the online ad for the Julbord at my local Ikea (SF Bay Area) just 2 days before it was to take place, and was considering trying it out. I wonder if it was as overbooked as yours was.

Dec 13, 2011
dump123456789 in Chains

Policy on posting about food someone hasn't eaten

It's okay, but probably not very useful, except possibly as historical data. However, the opinion of someone who has never eaten the food is definitely useless.

If a post involves a discussion about the changes at a place, and it is clear that the scope of the change might invalidate old experiences, then effectively, your experience level has dropped back down to zero. So, you should refrain from the discussion until you've tried it again, unless it is to ask for new feedback.

Dec 13, 2011
dump123456789 in Site Talk

Policy on posting about food someone hasn't eaten

"This is slippery slope. So you can't comment if you have not been to a place and tried the dish in question. How many times must you go and dishes must you try before you can comment about a restaurant?"

Once, and at least one. End of slope.

Seriously, what is the point of reading the opinion of someone who has never eaten the food they're giving their opinion of, especially since CH has no killfile/ignore capability ? It's sort of the flip-side of a restaurant posting a "review" of themselves which is actually a disguised ad. That type of post would get deleted, and so should the "I've never eaten their food, but it sucks" posts.

Dec 13, 2011
dump123456789 in Site Talk

And the award for the worst food at a Christmas party goes to....

Right, forgot about that one. At that point, I think the speaker is simply being passive aggressive about refusing to understand what "no animal flesh" means.

Dec 13, 2011
dump123456789 in General Topics

What do you do with "Hot Dog Water"?

Looks like someone took your idea, ran with it, and created an entire Chow video on it, except using Doritos instead of hot dogs. Now that there's a precedent, you should do a video for your Hot Dog Consomme.

Dec 12, 2011
dump123456789 in Home Cooking

And the award for the worst food at a Christmas party goes to....

If you say "I don't eat animal flesh", maybe they won't need repeated clarifications. (More likely though, they'll think you're just being confrontational.)

Dec 11, 2011
dump123456789 in General Topics

Ikea's food market

BTW, has anyone been to one of their Julbords ?

Dec 10, 2011
dump123456789 in Chains

Tell me about this

It just sounds more dignified in the original German that DuchessNukem and Mlou72 posted.

Dec 10, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Grocery Stores around the world-quirks?

I've experienced almost everything you mention in almost every grocery store I've been in in Europe. Customer self loads and self bags. Cashier sits. Bags are not free.

Things are just different. When in Rome ...

Dec 10, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Grocery store pet peeve. Is it just me?

None of the TJ's in my area (SF Bay Area) have the one-line-for-all-registers system. Where are your TJ's ?

Dec 10, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Grocery Outlet for December

I've tried this before, with various fresh citrus juices, and as gordon jokes, it really needs sugar. I can't seem to get the balance of grapefruit, bitter and sweet that comes from a good soda. The seltzer washes out the sweetness and the grapefruit, making the bitter overly prominent relative to the other two.

I'll have to try to locate the Fruit Squeeze.

Dec 09, 2011
dump123456789 in San Francisco Bay Area

Grocery Outlet for December

Which brands of grapefruit soda do you recommend ? I don't come across grapefruit soda/bitters much (except when I travel to Europe).

Dec 08, 2011
dump123456789 in San Francisco Bay Area

Grocery Outlet for December

I tried the Thomas Kemper blood orange soda in the 4-pack, which had no discernible orange flavor to it. Just a sort of generic candy flavor, but not necessarily citrus.

Also, the Izze ginger soda in the 4-pack had very little ginger flavor.

I preferred the Agru grapefruit to either of them, but then again, I prefer the slightly bitter citrus flavors in general.

Dec 07, 2011
dump123456789 in San Francisco Bay Area

Coffee refills

How/when did that restaurant let customers know there were no free refills ?

Dec 05, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Coffee refills

Of course, you're right. I guess I found the first part so odd, I drifted off mentally on what the point of the commercial was.

Dec 05, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Coffee refills

I just saw a US credit card commercial in which the server walks around a restaurant asking people if they want coffee refills, but doesn't mention that they will be charged for them.

Is it common or becoming more common not to offer free refills on coffee in the US ? How many people ask or check the menu verbiage about the charge on coffee refills ?

Dec 05, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Jian Bing in SF?

Yelp'ers mention it being available at Everyday Beijing in San Mateo on weekends as recently as last month. Don't know about SF though.

Dec 04, 2011
dump123456789 in San Francisco Bay Area

Morocco's Mountain View 15% service charge

Could someone who has been to Morocco's explain the 15% service charge ?

According to their website (pasted at the bottom of this post), they automatically add on 15% to the total of your bill for service. But, they are also rather vague about whether you are expected to tip the standard amount above that.

To get specific, if I see an item on the menu priced at $20, they will automatically add 15% (ie.$3) for service for a total of $23. Are they then expecting an additional 15%-20% tip (ie. $3.45-$4.60) on top of that $23, for a grand total of $26.45-$27.60 ?

Are they trying to implement the European system, in which service is essentially built in/automatic, and you just tip up to 5% extra if you like ? Or are they counting on diners' confusion to get an effective 35% tip ? If it's the latter, then the smartest thing for diners to do is to consider the prices as being 15% higher than printed, and make their decisions based on that.

=====

Here is the wording from Morocco's website:

"The 15% service charge gets distributed among all employees of Morocco's Restaurant. We do believe in equity and justice between our cooking team and serving team in regards to revenue distribution based on efforts, performance, and consistency.

We are proud to take care equally well of the charming servers that are hosting you to the fast paced cooks that prepare your delicacies through competitive wages, salaries, benefits and quarterly bonuses.

If you feel that your front of the house serving team went the extra mile by providing you exceptional service, your tips are appreciated! (National average tip is 18.3% and we have witnessed delighted parties leaving a generous 20% to 30% tips)."

Nov 12, 2011
dump123456789 in San Francisco Bay Area

Forced to Rush Through Dinner at Pomegranate (moved from Ontario board)

I've been to places where there was no crowd for the later seating because the later seating was the last seating (ie. you kept the table for the rest of the night) and reservations were required for it. Anyone walking in for the later seating without a reservation was turned away. And if your reservation was for 8pm, then your table sat empty from the time the later seating began until you showed up. That didn't mean those places weren't popular, but it did result in the appearance that they weren't full at certain popular times.

Nov 06, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Sure, Romera Is Pretentious. You Got a Problem with That?

That was a lot of words just to say

"It's OK to be (negative quality) as long as you're upfront about your (negative quality)"

which I think most adults don't buy as an argument.

Nov 02, 2011
dump123456789 in Features

Charged more than menu price [moved from New York State]

"Subject to change" is such boilerplate CYA language. Has anyone been to a nice place that actually used that wording to justify why their final billing didn't match the prices on their menu and why they didn't tell you beforehand about the price increases ?

So, out of curiosity, do you ask, for each item, whether the price has changed, or do you just wait until you've placed the entire order, and then ask if any of the prices have changed ? Couldn't they conceivably still increase the prices after that point using the CYA verbiage ?

Oct 04, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Charged more than menu price [moved from New York State]

Actually, there only seem to be 2 posters who are in support of the restaurant in this situation, 1 of whom has said they won't be repeating themselves any longer.

I'm trying to think of any other business in which prices are given to the customer, and a higher price is charged without the customer's prior approval after it's too late for the service to be un-rendered or the sale cancelled. Nothing's coming to mind right now.

Oct 04, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food

Charged more than menu price [moved from New York State]

Referring to your example below of the price of specials, how do you answer my question above ? ie. The paper menu says "Prices subject to change", the server announces specials without prices, you ask what the prices are and the server answers. Are the prices allowed to change after that point, since you didn't ask if the prices have changed, only what the prices were ?

Any restaurant that was so inhospitable as to claim coverage by the CYA clause "prices subject to change" in the way the OP describes, would probably have no qualms about invoking the same clause in the admittedly ridiculous scenario I'm positing above.

In fact, what's to prevent a restaurant from invoking the same clause after the server has told you the price, and charging you more on the bill ? They could claim that the server was giving you last week's price and that "prices [are] subject to change".

Anyway, if my local hole-in-the-wall barely-health-code-conforming Chinese restaurant can handle putting white out tape or black marker over their menu prices to indicate changes, I see absolutely no reason why OP's place can't too. I would not continue to patronize any restaurant that invoked that CYA clause in the way OP's place did. Yippee, they got my $2.50 at the expense of all my future business. (I really can't imagine any high-end restaurant pulling those shenanigans, which means any place that did would be easily replaceable in my dining rotation.)

Oct 03, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food
1

Charged more than menu price [moved from New York State]

Let's flip your question: what is the last moment at which the restaurant may change the price if they put "Prices subject to change" on the menu ? When you order ? When the bill comes ? When the change/credit card slip is brought back to you ? Others have answered this question with "when the prices are presented in writing to the guest". What's your answer ?

Oct 02, 2011
dump123456789 in Not About Food