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I will never go to Don Chuchos again

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I had been going to Don Chuchos on Route 35 in Ocean Township for years. My husband and I loved their chimmichangas. Since having a baby, we haven't been out to eat all that often, so we were excited when we decided to venture out with my parents and my 16 month old son.

We ordered a 4 item combination plate with 2 shrimp and 2 chicken. The 2 plates were $30.00 each. We were then told we would be charged an extra $4.00 on each order for a sharing charge. I asked if we could order a salad or soup instead of being charged for nothing. They said "No. You must order another entree".

So they brought out our dinners after almost a 25 minute wait, and each order of chimmis had a side of rice and beans. And for your $4.00, do you get another small side of rice and beans? No.

I called the next day and spoke with the day manager who was very nice, and understanding. She said that the server should have used discretion, and not charge the sharing fee. She told me that she would forward my comments and phone number to the manager, who just called me 10 minutes ago.

He was extremely rude, and tried to explain to me that it's completely within his right (which it is) to charge an extra $8.00 because "he's losing money" on our dinner.

Ask me how he's losing money on 8 chimichangas which totalled $65.00.

Case in point, watch how you order your dinner there. I will never set foot in that place again.

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  1. mrsrossisme - I'm sorry to say that I don't understand your disappointment. You were aware that they were going to charge you a fee to share the plates. If they had not posted this before ordering or you were not made aware then I could understand, however that was not the case here. Either way, I am sorry that you were disappointed with your meal and of course you have a right to spend your money elsewhere. BTW, how was the food?

    3 Replies
    1. re: bgut1

      I think she's dissapointed because she is rarely able to go out and for a special night chose a place she's enjoyed many times. She felt she ordered a reasonable amount of food for four people and an infant and was in her opinion unfairly charged a sharing fee.

      I'd also say she's disappointed because she was left with the impression by a day manager that the restaurant was in error to charge her the extra money and then was told later by another manager that they were correct in charging her the fee.

      I'm sure there are plenty of people who pay the fee without question. However, if I was running a restaurant and a customer took the time to call the next day because it made their experience unpleasant I'd strongly consider refunding the money.

      I'd also say that if you own a restaurant and so many people are sharing their entrees that you need to charge a sharing fee just to turn a profit there's a strong chance your portions are too large. By Chucho's logic they only would have made a profit on four people if they had spent $120 on Chimi's.

      Who wants to eat at a place that makes you feel guilty for not being a glutton?

      How was the food? Are there sides that come with the chimi's?

      1. re: jrd303

        jrd303,

        Acc. to the original post, the chimis came with rice and beans, and one of mrsrossisme's complaints was that the sharing charge did not include any extra portions of sides.

        In my post, I asked if the person who called her back was a manager or the owner. It's not the managers who decide policy with regard to sharing charges, it's the owner. From the way she described the conversation, it sounded more like the owner. If that was the case, then the day manager was wrong to say that she would have disregarded the sharing charge.

        As bgut pointed out, mrsrossisme was made fully aware of the sharing charge. If she wasn't happy about it, she had options. She could have left and eaten elsewhere, or she could have ordered another main and taken the leftovers home.

        It's unfortunate that it ruined her experience, but imo, restaurant owners should not have to change the rules for a particular customer just because she was ticked and complained.

        1. re: RGR

          I was hoping they might come with some vegetables, sour cream, pico de galla, lime wedges, or salsa.

          Certainly the owner would introduce her/himself as such? .

          I can understand the owner instituting a policy to protect his profitt. I'd refund her $8 even against my own policy in return for her future business. There's many ways to run a business and I hope I didn't leave the impression that my opinion was the only correct way,

          edit:

          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/439448

          a poster in this thread made this reference

          "Mama Chuch in Allenhurst. Ok, not really new since it's the former owners of Don Chucho's on Rt. 35 in Ocean. The food is well-prepared and reasonable, the staff is friendly as all get out, and the place itself is cute and cozy." joslyn -Jan 24, 2008 10:16AM

          Could be the root of the problem and explain why the policy was new to her.

    2. We have never been to Don Chuchos, but since you say you've been going there for years, I'm surprised you were not aware of the sharing charge policy.

      Being assessed a sharing charge for main courses is definitely not an uncommon situation since restaurants stand to lose the most when mains are shared, much more so than with apps and desserts. In fact, one of our favorite upscale restaurants, Lorena's, states right on the menu that there is a substantial sharing charge for main courses.

      Also, when you share a main course, you should not be expecting to be given any extra sides.

      Although the day manager indicated that she might have used her discretion, I presume the person who called you back was not another manager but the owner? An owner is the one who sets the policy, so what was it about his explanation that you felt was rude?

      In any event, it's unfortunate that what transpired here has soured you on a restaurant that you have always liked.