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Posting Specials with a Price?

My Father and I have been on a long standing agrument (for lack of better word) on if restaurants should advertise the price of all thier items.

For example going into a bar with large tap or bottles selection should they have the price of everything listed on thier board? ALso if there are specials , should they focus on the price ?

I sometimes find listing pricing can be somewhat tacky in nicer establisments. Any comments?

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  1. I would LOVE it if restaurants listed the prices of specials--not tacky at all! I find it more honest, actually. Or, if not actually showing the price on a board, at least having the waitstaff rattle off the prices along with the descriptions of said specials. I do understand that the absence of prices can be trick designed to get people to order more expensive items, but I find that a bit disingenious.

    1. In any place that would have specials posted on a chalkboard or dry-erase board, the price should listed.

      In the 'nicer' establishments that you refer to, specials would probably be on an attachment or insert with the menu, and the prices should be there.

      If neither is the case, and the specials are recited by the server, they should state the price. To me, the tacky aspect would be for the patron to have to ask the price, revealing that for whatever reason, price is a concern. [The inference being that if I ask the price, I'm interested in the dish, but if I dont order it, it was because it was too expensive for me. It could be very embarassing if on a date.]

      Personally, I dont have the same expectation of bars.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Fydeaux

        I agree. The only "tacky" thing here is putting the customer in the position of having to risk embarrassment by asking how much.

        1. re: Leonardo

          I'm NEVER embarrassed to ask the price of the specials. In fact, I almost always interrupt the server as he/she recites the specials by asking, "...and the price of that is...?" I ask even when I'm not interested in ordering it. I ask for every appetizer and every entree mentioned as a special without a mention of price. I think it's rude of the restaurant to have a policy of not including the price after describing the specials; it's not embarrassing for me to ask for information I'm entitled to. The price is a relevant part of the description. Why don't restaurants get that? This is one of my biggest restaurant pet peeves. Specials ought to be described in writing and added to the menu. That saves me from having to ask the server to describe the specials again (and sometimes again).

        2. re: Fydeaux

          To me, the tacky aspect would be for the patron to have to ask the price, revealing that for whatever reason, price is a concern. [The inference being that if I ask the price, I'm interested in the dish, but if I dont order it, it was because it was too expensive for me. It could be very embarassing if on a date.]

          VERY GOOD POINT. at times I wish Chowhound had a like option

          1. re: Augie6

            See my comment above. I think it's more tacky for the server to NOT offer the price. The prices are given on the written menu; why not on the verbal menu?

            PLEASE don't feel embarrassed about asking. It implies nothing about your willingness to pay the price.

          2. Do you feel listing prices on the regular menu is "somewhat tacky" in a nicer restaurant?

            Yes, I want the prices to be listed or the server to state them. To me it's pretty tacky for a restaurant to blindly price a special significantly higher because they are betting on customers to not inquire about the cost.

            1. I'm with the folks who think it's tacky to make a paying customer wonder how much they'll be paying for their food. I generally try to stay away from places where people like to pretend that money is no object.

              The mentality of *if you have to ask, you can't afford it* is really offputting to me. I lived in one of those bourgeois-aspirational communities for over a decade and I know a lot of people who got themselves in deep, deep debt pretending it didn't matter what something costs them.

              This reminds me of that upselling thread...

              4 Replies
              1. re: inaplasticcup

                I've always hated "if you have to ask, you can't afford it" for a number of reasons, but one is because more often than not, it's not an issue of being able to afford it but simply wanting to know if you think it's worth the price. Being able to afford something shouldn't mean a person wants to throw money out the window to prove it.

                  1. re: LeoLioness

                    Who buys something without knowing the cost? If I have to ask, I consider it poorer service. It makes me feel awkward. If I don't ask and get gigged, then I really have a bad image in my mind of the restaurant. I don't know why restaurants don't print the daily specials out with the prices and give it to you when they bring the menu. Why am I looking at a menu without all the options?

                  2. I think it is tacky of the restaurant to *not* include price with written or verbal description. It puts the diner in an awkward spot.

                    This goes for drinks, as well. I often see that prices for soda, tea, coffee, milk, etc. do not include the price. Sometimes, even mineral water prices are not listed and we were once hit with a $12/bottle tab!! That bugs the heck out of me and will guarantee I will not return. I think everything should have a price next to it and if "market price" is listed, the server should, without prompting, tell every table what the prices are for those items.

                    Many years ago, I was with a date at a restaurant where the server gave all of the specials but no prices. The gentleman I was with asked , "So, those are the free specials?" The waiter was a little flustered and said, "NO!" He responded with, "Well, you didn't state a price, so I figured they were free." It actually was very funny at the time and he made his point. It kind of diffused an awkward situation because we were college students and price DID matter... significantly.

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