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Classic Diner, Malvern

the perfect meal Dec 31, 2010 07:35 AM

Is it ok, to have a menu state "prices subject to change"? My family ate at The Clasic Diner in Malvern recently and the bill was 10% higher than the stated prices on the menu. In questioning this, I was told it was due to flucuating food prices. Funny, but a bottle of soda was 20% higher then what was on the menu. Our final bill was 10% higher, every item we ordered not being the same prices as was on the menu. I thought the food was all right, but there are plenty of other places to get a good meal and not have to guess what your final bill will be.

I eat out a lot, but this is the first time this has ever happened to me. Is this practice more common than I think?

  1. a
    ANT1008 Jan 12, 2011 08:21 AM

    As someone who's family member owns a restaurant and I have worked in the supply end, I can tell you that food prices from their vendors change WEEKLY especially for tomato products, flour, oil, etc. I'm sure the restaurant all have a produce guy, fish guy, meat guy, beverage guy, produce guy, pape guy, etc that weekly change the prices that are delivered and most restaurants pay cash or with a check when the delivery is made.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ANT1008
      cwdonald Jan 12, 2011 11:22 AM

      All you have said is that restaurants have FIXED costs (labour) and VARIABLE costs (food). A good chef or food and beverage director's job is to manage the menu and portion size to maintain a resonable level of profitablility.

      The point that people are making is that they want to know what they are being charged. They do not like it when they are told one price but are hit with a surcharge...

      On a different note, does anyone remember dining at high end restaurants in the seventies and eighties when the custom was the man got the menu with the prices and everyone else got a menu without any prices? Guess if you have to ask.. you cannot afford it.

      1. re: cwdonald
        RC51Mike Jan 12, 2011 11:28 AM

        Before my time but I suppose it was also when it was customary for the man to order for the lady and might have been somewhat distasteful for the woman to know how much dinner was? Back then, men took their hats off when eating dinner too.

      2. re: ANT1008
        the perfect meal Jan 12, 2011 01:27 PM

        So what is different with this explanation than running any other business? Don't you want to know how much gas is going to cost before you fill your tank? Or how much a garment will cost before you wait in line to buy it.

        Just because you have price flucuations, I still think it the responsibility of management to be up front with pricing and not be suprised bya 10%-20% change.

        Does anyone know of any other restaurant that has this an on goingn practice?

        1. re: the perfect meal
          Bacchus101 Jan 13, 2011 02:24 AM

          Perfect meal, the overwhelming response to your initial post is outrage at this practice. The fact is that other businesses and of course other restaurants deal with this issue. There is NO excuse for treating customers this way. Thanks for the alert!

      3. g
        gardens4me Jan 8, 2011 08:52 PM

        I love this place too, but that is an unacceptable practice. Sounds like too buzy, lazy to put a new menu out there. Disappointed in them.

        1. s
          seagulls1 Jan 6, 2011 06:12 PM

          It is just too expensive and a hassle to print new menus every time they have to raise a price.

          1 Reply
          1. re: seagulls1
            Bacchus101 Jan 7, 2011 02:59 AM

            seagulls, really? Seems other restaurants do it, with very few exceptions. Too much of a hassle to let your customers know the price of your food??? Technology makes this something which can be done at very little cost and time daily if needed or desired. There is NO excuse for this type of behavior, an insult to the customer and every other restaurant!

          2. t
            the perfect meal Jan 6, 2011 12:20 PM

            They are probably not reporting the extra revenue on the upcharge and treating it as "free money"

            1. p
              pamd Jan 6, 2011 10:56 AM

              this post makes me chuckle. Only because I posted about this a while back on here somewhere. The same thing happened about 1-2 yrs ago to us there. We got the bill & questioned the difference. The server actually stated "It's because of gas prices!!" AND that was when gas prices were at a low!! So we told her in that case we should have had a cheaper bill- she had no clue.
              It also always bugged me that they'd ask what type of bread you want....and then be charged extra for what you chose.

              1. t
                truffles2 Jan 6, 2011 09:23 AM

                This is baloney, no pun intended. I've seen "prices subject to change" on specific, high cost items like lobster, but not the whole menu. I can't imagine that practice will be good for business. Most people are only going to put up with that once.

                1. f
                  FriedClamFanatic Jan 2, 2011 09:32 AM

                  At an ABSOLUTE MINIMUM I think the server should make you aware BEFORE you order

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: FriedClamFanatic
                    808eater Jan 2, 2011 12:50 PM

                    I think price increases are put in place without the customer noticing. The server wouldn't have a clue about it unless informed by the management. For this year I am going to be vigilant on checking menu prices vs. final tab of the bill. The paying public doesn't even notice it, I almost got screwed in nyc, when I recieved the bill I didn't look at the bill and paid it without looking at it. I paid someone else tab which had almost $200.00 of alcohol on it. I just paid it because I was paying for a group of 6 people. I looked at the bill after I left the restaurant and left the parking garage. I had to high tail it back and get my money back. Always ck your restaurant bill no matter what.

                    1. re: 808eater
                      Bacchus101 Jan 6, 2011 03:56 AM

                      808 very good advice. I suppose we should all know this but how many of us do it? Recent articles note how in some well known restaurants it is common practice to "pad" the bill. Call me nieve but I never expected this to be so. Now I check every bill and have found erroneous charges either accidental or padding. My primary example of this ocurred at our favorite speciality restaurant, a frequent stop where we are known and tip big. Needless to say I was shocked as it did not appear that it could have occured unknowingly. We still love the place and the people but we do the math on all checks everywhere. A cautiionary tale!

                  2. 8
                    808eater Dec 31, 2010 10:11 PM

                    not at all suprised you picked up on that, I noticed my combo on a burger with fries and coke at five guys went up .50 cent more than I paid for it. But the menu price on the board was still the same. Next time i have to mention that to them.

                    1. f
                      foodiepair Dec 31, 2010 03:06 PM

                      Wow. That's appalling... I love thsi restaurant and its always crowded to the brim but worth waiting to get a table. You'd think in thsi day and age reprinting a new menu with correct prices could be done on the spot.
                      I wonder if they are under new management or have had some financial difficulties.

                      1. Bacchus101 Dec 31, 2010 07:47 AM

                        Outrageous! Of course we have probably all seen some items marked as " subject to price fluctuations" . However, as you explain the details of your experience, this is a rip off! They need to update their menu prices more frequently and stop screwing customers ! Outrageous!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Bacchus101
                          FrancisdeR Dec 31, 2010 08:45 AM

                          No, it's not common at all. It's misleading pricing. You might even argue it's fraud, but for these guys, it's attitude, pure and simple.

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