A lot of people are led to believe that because I am a Chef that I don't eat out at restaurants. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, it is not something that I do frequently, but there are times when I just want to let someone else cook for me, or have an evening out with my family.
Recently, to celebrate the end of the school year, and the great report card results of our youngest children, we decided to do just that. We ended up going to a local restaurant/pub where they have a section for families. We all got settled into our booth, ordered beverages, and waited for our entrées to arrive. My 11-year old son, ordered a burger and garlic mashed potatoes from the kids menu. When his order arrived he said to me "Dad, can you get the server's attention?"
"Why?" I asked, "what do you need?"
"I would like some ketchup and mustard for my burger. It only has mayo and lettuce on it." He replied.
"No problem." I answered as I got up from the booth and found our server. When I made the request however, I was told that she could bring a ketchup bottle to our table, but the mustard would be an extra charge since they didn't have a bottle of mustard, and she had to get it from the kitchen. I shrugged my shoulders and agreed - I wanted my son to be happy.
Moments later she approached our table with a bottle of ketchup and a small portioning cup of pale looking mustard. My son took a small amount of the mustard to taste it and it was honey mustard, not just plain condiment yellow mustard. Obviously there was an error, so I took the honey-mustard and approached our server once again. She told me "this is the only mustard we have."
"You don't have yellow mustard? Just regular hot dog mustard?" I was in disbelief.
Just as she started replying "no, this is all we have" a Supervisor (I am assuming) was walking by and asked what was happening. I filled her in on the situation.
"Of course we have regular mustard" she replied and then told the server to get me some.
Please keep in mind here that I didn't make a big fuss. I am not the type to make a big scene about little things and I always try to treat people with the most respect I can in any situation.
I went back to the table and shortly after the yellow mustard arrived.
When we got our bill at the end of our meal, sure enough there was an extra charge for the mustard - $1.00! I couldn't believe it, one dollar for four tablespoons of yellow mustard, and surely they didn't expect my 11 year old son to have 4 tablespoons of mustard on one child sized burger, did they? Even if they did, this would be equivalent to $6.67 for a standard 400ml bottle of mustard.
Walmart was located next door to the pub, and I was curious to know what they were selling mustard for, so we walked over. There one could buy a whole 400ml bottle of brand-name mustard for $1.50.
This is not about restaurants recouping their costs. This is about how little they value customers choosing to spend their money at their establishment. We were a table of four, and we could have chosen elsewhere to go out for dinner... and next time we will.
This is not the first time we have had problems here. Have a look at my blog post from September 26, 2016 titled "A Pub Without a Steak Sandwich???" and you will see another example.
Until next time... Happy Cooking... and maybe cooking at home is a better option.