Originally Posted by durangojo
you may get a better(?) response if you post this in the cooking forum thread....the moderators can move this for you if you say 'pretty please'. maybe include from the point of view of the customer, what they expect, what they are bothered by etc.... be forewarned however...and put your tough skinned suit on...they can be sharks!
while i'm here though, (i hope that i haven't completely hijacked your thread), i'd like to know if this ever comes up with any of you....
we do not have an a la carte menu, which of course means that the entree comes with either a small house salad or soup du jour. there are customers who do not want the soup du jour but want a cup of either clam chowder, steak chili or a caesar salad. they don't seem to understand the separate charge and at times become quite indignant over it. their thinking is that since they did not want the soup, they should be able to substitute the chowder, chili or caesar, or at the very very least, get them discounted...huh?.....no matter how it gets explained or how often, some just don't seem to get it. my view is that including soup or salad is just a nice thing to do...i view it a bit as a loss leader, meant to entice customers into buying the higher priced entrees over just apps, soups or salads. non a la carte restaurants seem to be a thing of the past so it makes us stand out as well...but, i'm begining to lose my patience.....any thoughts?
One of the things to do is clearly state on your menu - No Substitutions (and optionally no price reductions for Deletions) then educate and explain to the servers and FoH and be ready to come out and explain yourself if you get an unruly customer. (we're a small family place so we do allow people to request no sides etc. but then our food isn't very showy either) We do hold the line very tight on the no substitutions though...
You need to get the FoH comfortable with stating sorry but we can't change that as the chef only makes enough baked potatoes to go with the number of cowboy steaks we have for the evening. Or enough mango slaw to go with the amount of fish we have available. Use the we only purchase / store what we can use in a single night etc. to keep our food the freshest.
DOn't bother using 'costs' or pricing or markups, margins or other things related to money that just leaves the patron PO'd - keep everything related to food quality, freshness, customer satisfaction, other patrons experience, the chef's desire to present a complete perfect meal etc.
However all that said - don't prevent a person or table from ordering an entree and asking for an extra plate. Don't split the meal - send it as composed and let them divide it, for some dishes it is better to send the entree with 2 side plates to transfer food too.
(sorry for typo's - travelling and the black-berry keyboard sucks.)