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refills or billed a second time?

was recently at a moderate priced restaurant for a leisurely lunch, and know i should/could have asked but asked for another iced tea (which i do not think was even priced on the menu) and found it to be a second @$3.50 each with a $ 9.00 entree- suddenly a pricy lunch, i paid and left, but still wonder if it is correct not to be informed or just what is correct?. ps. new restaurant that i did enjoy except for that and now very doubtful about returning

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  1. I find some places offer free refills for some drinks and some charge. As often, I guess it all depends. Have to say, I've never asked and never been told either. I work on the basis that if I want a second drink, then I want it whether or not they're going to charge.

    1. Three -Fifty for iced tea? That must be some pretty frakin' good iced tea. If a restaurant charged for tea refills here in Houston, it would be burned to the ground by the locals, as tea is the de facto drink of choice. What typye of restaurant was this? A nine dollar entree doesn't sound high end, so I would think not only should you be informed, but it simply shouldn't be done.

      1. If there was any doubt (i.e., if it wasn't specified on the menu), I'd certainly ask before ordering.

        That said, I have a friend who lunches every day at Denny's. It's always the same order, which includes three glasses of ice tea, for which he's billed separately. When he could order one ice tea and have unlimited free refills. Go figure.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Muskrat

          Hi Muskrat, this confused me. Does your friend ask to be billed three separate times? Or is it that he demands a new glass each time?

        2. If it's not specified, I don't assume. The one time I was seriously annoyed was at lunch at a restaurant in NYC some years ago. They had several interesting iced tea and house-made soda concoctions on the menu, and I ordered one. My glass was not quite empty when the waiter silently removed it and replaced it with a full one of the same, leading me to assume it was included, as I hadn't been asked if I needed or wanted it. When the bill came, I was charged for the second drink. I paid, but also wrote them a note about the practice.

          1. If you are requesting another drink, it's up to you to ask, and you shouldn't assume anything.

            When they offer to fill it for you, I think they should tell you if refills are free or not, but if they don't say, it's still up to you to ask.

            If they don't ask but simply refill it, I don't think they should charge.