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Jul 3, 2010 08:44 AM

Should prices of specials be told up front?

I have always thought about this and have considered both sides but I have to admit I got taken over the edge when my daughter ordered the lamp chop special at Portofinos in Tinton Falls, in which she wound up only eating half because it was very fatty, only to find out when I got the check that it was $40. I've decided from then on I'm always going to ask what the prices are. Anybody have any opinions on this

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  1. I agree, nothing wrong with asking the prices...I would of sent it back also being that fatty at those prices. Sorry to hear you went thru that experience.

    1. I appreciate the few places that do tell the prices of specials as they describe them.

      If I am considering ordering one of the specials, I always ask the price. At lunch one day at a place where entrees usually range from $10 to $18, I asked about a fish special. It was $27, so I passed. A friend who was not listening asked for a repeat of the specials. He ordered the fish w/o asking the price. After the waiter left, I told him he must really like that dish to pay $27. "Waiter! I need to change my order."

      Some people seem embarrassed to ask. I think it is stupid not to.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Remander

        If they don't tell you the price and you don't ask then you have nothing to complain about when you get the bill.

        I really don't like the whole recitation of specials rigmarole. It's 2010, printers cost less than $100. I'd rather just have the specials printed on a piece of paper and inserted into the regular menu.

        1. re: bookhound

          Personally I think any above average restaurant should have it's waiters recite their daily specials. Of course having them in printed form is nice as well but I prefer the waiter explaining the details. It only takes a few minutes. In regards to prices then the diner should be responsible for knowing what he's getting and the cost. I recall the waiters at most fine dining establishments quote the price of their specials as they recite them.

      2. I think some places count on people being too embarrassed to ask the price. I'd rather look intelligent for asking than a fool for overpaying. My preference is to patronize places that are upfront about their pricing rather than a place that wants to up-sell by subterfuge.

        1. There's nothing wrong with asking for the price. I think the servers really should tell you the price when the special isn't in the normal price range of what's found on the menu. If the typical price is $15-25 and the special is $40, most people will be unhappily surprised when they get the bill and find out the price is twice the normal price. I don't think it's such a big deal if the price is totally in line with the other dishes. If it's an $18 dish then no one is going to be shocked when they receive a bill.

          1. for me this is a no brainer. If I am with family or friends and am paying my own portion of the bill or it's just hubby and me I will ask the price. If I am being taken out for a meal I will not even ask the price because I wouldn't dream of ordering a special if someone else is paying.