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Cheapest restaurant patron I've witnessed

Cheapest restaurant patron I've witnessed

Old Jan 24, 17, 7:00 am
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DSI
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Cheapest restaurant patron I've witnessed

So normally I don't get annoyed at stuff like kids running around, frat boy parties, etc... But last night we went out to a nice dinner, not realizing that it was "restaurant week" in our city where people can try out different restaurants for a discounted price.

So we went there, ordered normal items, drinks, etc... and the table next to us had six people and two children and they ordered only one of the discounted three course menus for all (not each!) of them, only drank water and got like 6 bread baskets. And then when they left, they left a one dollar bill, as they seemed disappointed that they didn't get more for their money and annoyed that the server (and later manager) came to ask them if they'd like to order more.

It just struck me as excessively cheap for this particular restaurant.

Sure at a McDonalds you'll run into all kinds of busto people who can't afford a $1 burger, but this was a semi-to-fine dining restaurant and this was the first time I've seen this thing happen. One app, one main and one desert for 6 people and two children.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 8:54 am
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That does seem a bit extreme (especially the $1 tip), but I have heard of people treating these dining events like a pub crawl where they will visit several restaurants in one evening and split dishes at each, just so they can try a bit of everything.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 9:47 am
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It's a classic, for sure.

I witnessed a diner tipping $1 Sunday night at a Chili's on a party of 3. What was amazing was he personally handed it to the server, as if he was proud of himself. He was smiling as he did it. To her credit, she was gracious about it and thanked him.

Mrs. BamaVol has a tiny appetite. On days when mine matches hers, we will share an appetizer. But I guarantee one or two rounds of drinks will accompany the appetizer and the tip will be in the 20% range.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 10:01 am
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Originally Posted by DSI View Post

...you'll run into all kinds of busto people who can't afford a $1 burger...
This should be of real concern IMHO.

Cheers & Safe Travels.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 10:07 am
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So, OP, you've never seen the ones who steal everything out of the condiment tray, including sugar, artificial sweetener, and whatever else is individually wrapped?
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Old Jan 24, 17, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by Doc Savage View Post
So, OP, you've never seen the ones who steal everything out of the condiment tray, including sugar, artificial sweetener, and whatever else is individually wrapped?
I've seen elderly members of my family do something like that - usually emptying the bread basket into a purse and asking for more. But they weren't the ones paying the bill.

And certainly I've seen people clean out the hotel breakfast buffet, taking all the hard boiled eggs, apples and yogurt and shoving them in a grocery bag.

But that was a La Quinta, so not completely unexpected.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 11:02 am
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Of course I have, and have done it myself I'm sure. But I haven't seen a group of eight split one meal at a restaurant before, or at least a nice one.

We don't always order huge meals, mind you. Sometimes we get two apps and a few drinks, and maybe I'm delusional, but this seemed way different.

Really did not get the impression it was a pub crawl. There were three generations at the table.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 11:42 am
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Originally Posted by DSI View Post
Really did not get the impression it was a pub crawl. There were three generations at the table.
I didn't mean pub crawl literally, as in a bunch of drunken college students. But I have seen people use these restaurant weeks as a chance to try a bunch of different places. Some even treat it as a challenge to try to get to all of the participating restaurants in one week. This often requires eating at 5 or more each day, so splitting the meals is the only way to do it. But, I'll admit that I've never seen a family of 8 split one meal
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Old Jan 24, 17, 11:51 am
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Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
This often requires eating at 5 or more each day, so splitting the meals is the only way to do it.
Six bread baskets tells me they weren't doing this.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 11:53 am
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Good point. Oh well, whatever the reason, I hope they enjoyed their meal.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 12:22 pm
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While an extreme example, this is why I don't understand Restaurant Week. It seems that the people who get excited about it are not the people the restaurants would want to attract.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 12:34 pm
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While it may not pay off during that week, it may drive future business. I've tried restaurants during these promotions and returned to them later because they turned out to be great. Otherwise, I might not have tried them.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 12:51 pm
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Cool

Originally Posted by Low Roller View Post
While it may not pay off during that week, it may drive future business. I've tried restaurants during these promotions and returned to them later because they turned out to be great. Otherwise, I might not have tried them.
That's certainly the idea. I've tried these "specials" a few times and you fairly often discover why the restaurants go to these lengths to attract new customers: they're kind of "meh," and they cut portion sizes for the special deals, so the experience is not really motivational.

I'm sure there are some good ones, too.
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Old Jan 24, 17, 1:39 pm
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I tend to avoid restaurant week for the reasons above and didn't going out last night because it was restaurant week. Several years ago we went to Ruth's Chris during one. It looked like a Walmart on Black Friday and the "steak" did not appear to be prime, or even choice, or even a strip for that matter.

Last night the menu had some of their good menu items on offer. I've eaten at this place more than twenty times. But alas, I decided to order Rockfish off the regular menu and it didn't seem as fresh as it normally does, maybe because they're overstocking the chicken right now.

Conversely, some terrible places participate. Who wants a three course dinner at Applebees for $35?

Last edited by DSI; Jan 24, 17 at 1:47 pm
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Old Jan 24, 17, 7:42 pm
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A friend made it a goal to visit every restaurant participating in our city's restaurant week last year. She achieved her goal, but with a lot of meal splitting and such.
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