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Jul 27, 2007 02:50 PM

No drink prices on the menu?

I have noticed that chains have the glossy drink menus but no prices listed anywhere. I rarely eat out at chains so I have no idea what to expect. I would just really like to have some idea what I am going to get charged. I was at a Texas Roadhouse recently and the house Margarita was $6.75.More than reasonable. Had I know that I probably would have upgraded the Tequila. It would feel like a cheap smuck to have to ask! How would you handle this?

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  1. I've noticed the same thing, and it does kind of bother me, but I don't like those sweet-and-sour soaked drinks very much anyway. I just assume they're all in the $5-$8 range. You could ask your server, but when I was waiting tables at a similar restaurant in college, I had no idea how much our drinks cost. I just entered their order.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ajs228

      Oddly enough the magarita at the Roadhouse was quite good. I hate the sweet and sour ones too.

    2. Most corporate chains make those tabletop menus in huge batches and then ship around the country. Since different markets charge different prices, it's cheaper not to print the prices. They'd probably do it for the food menus if they could get away with it!

      1 Reply
      1. re: mojoeater

        They do on a lot of online food menus! The PDF is often the same as the printed menu, just without the prices.

      2. I feel as though this is the case for chains and non-chains. Never really thought about it too much.

        1. Funny that you brought this up- just last night we ate at a Chili's- lot's of interesting choices on the drink menu, but not a price anywhere. We asked our server how much- as usual, she didn't have a clue, but went to check for us. Turned out that a Presidente Margarita was in the $6-7.00 range- certainly reasonable, but if we hadn't asked it probably would have been $30 each!

          4 Replies
          1. re: Clarkafella

            Just curious to why you would think the price would change if you hadn't asked. In every restaurant I've worked in the computer has pre-programmed buttons for drinks which charge the prices automatically, yes there are up-charges but those charges appear on the check as well.

            1. re: sweetnspicy

              Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I didn't really mean that the price would change, just that it might have been more expensive than expected if I hadn't asked... That still isn't very clear, but I don't know how to say what I mean...

                1. re: Clarkafella

                  I think you mean to say that it usually works out that if you don't ask the price in advance, you've selected one of the highest priced items on the menu.


                  I agree with the other posters; the glossies are printed up en-masse and prices are left off due to regional price fluctuation/liquour taxes.

                  Food costs are easier to project and typically are not subject to different rules like booze.

            2. Noticed it and hate it... Nothing worse than ordering a few beers and getting hit with a whopping bill :(