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Plate Sharing Charge?

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Probably been discussed before but some friends told me they had drinks and an appetizer at a supper club's bar then wanted to order an entree to share. The bartender told them it would be an extra $7.50 fee for sharing. Fair or unfair?

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  1. plate charges for sharing are fair. restaurants expect to each seat to generate X dollars per day to cover overhead. Plate charges also cover the second setup being used.
    That said, your friends have the right to evaluate whether a $7.50 plate charge is REASONABLE or not.
    The good news is they were told in advance, the fee didn't just show up on the bill after they finished their meal.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bagelman01

      Seems both fair and reasonable to me.

    2. That's pretty standard. Whether it is fair is another question. I would rather have a minimum per person and let the diners figure out how to make that happen.

      1 Reply
      1. re: escondido123

        Minimum charge p.p. is a good idea. More places should do it.

      2. Fair.

        1. very fair. minimum charge pp is also fair.

          1. As long as it's posted on the menu, I'm OK with a charge. I can evaluate whether I'll choose that option or not.

            1. At the bar? That sounds pretty weird to me. Many people don't order any food at the bar. You could nurse a drink all night long. I say a sharing charge at the bar is abnormal.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Steve

                Nursing a drink doesn't require the establishment to provide a second plate, knife, fork, spoon, napkin, etc. There is a cost to providing these items and a loss of revenue from the seat whose ocupant doesn't order its own food.

              2. Fair and reasonable.

                1. I think it's fair if they let you know in advance, but I think the minimum per person idea is a better one.

                  1. Fair if they let you know in advance, but I would also expect at that price that they bring the dish out already divided on two plates.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: MelMM

                      At the very least!

                    2. How about a $19 charge to order an appetizer as entree or to split an entree? This is a restaurant in the Outer Banks.
                      DH and I were excited to go but this on their website was so off-putting to me that we took a pass.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: monavano

                        Wow. That would put me off. I would assume if they charge you $19 to order an apppetizer as an entree, they are giving you an entree-sized portion. Of course, that defeats the purpose for many who do this because they don't want that much food.

                        1. re: monavano

                          Don't want to derail the thread, but what restaurant was that? I grew up near the OBX, and am out here/there right now for vacation. I know a lot of places charge for refills, or charge for the second basket of chips/bread, but I haven't seen one charge that much for splitting a plate. I honestly have to wonder it that was a typo on thier website.

                          1. re: mpjmph

                            It is Elizabeth's Cafe in Duck. Don't think it's a typo because it's been there for a couple years.
                            From the website:
                            "A split entrée will require an additional $19.00 plate charge and will include bread and butter and the appropriate starch and vegetable."
                            And just in case your reading and comprehension is somehow impaired (not directed at you personally!), they mention again:
                            "An appetizer served as an entrée or a split entrée will require a $19.00 plate charge and will include bread and butter and an appropriate starch and vegetable."

                            MeIMM, I agree it defeats the purpose of both saving a couple bucks (I usually adjust my tip up a bit if I do this) and saving a lot of calories. I don't expect everyone to be turned off as I was but I found this and other things on their website to be uninviting on not customer-friendly.

                            1. re: monavano

                              Looked it up, and I found the entire web site off-putting. Just this attitude that you are so lucky to be able to dine there.

                              1. re: MelMM

                                (thank you...so glad it's not just me!)
                                Yes, so lucky that they serve me reverse osmosis water at no charge!
                                So lucky they're so rigid with dining times!
                                Blech.

                              2. re: monavano

                                Wow, yeah that isn't on our rotation, and won't be in the future.

                          2. I don't think fair or unfair comes into it, as long as it's prominently posted so I can avoid eating there.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                              I tend to agree. I'm by no means cheap and consider myself a good tipper all the way around, but it would just be nice to ask to share something and not be penalized for it. Big points for plating separately!

                              1. re: monavano

                                Well, I AM a total cheapo. When I see a place has a split plate charge it makes me want to scrape half the food onto the tablecloth and eat it with my hands. Luckily my parents raised me (slightly) better than that so I just settle for never spending another dime there.

                                But I just hate paying for stuff that is ancillary to the food itself. Got a Michelin starred chef in the kitchen? Great, I'll gladly pay for his expertise. It's all the other non-value-adds in a typical restaurant that are no use to me: false friendship of the waitstaff, high margins on drinks straight out of the wholesale syrup bag, canned trendy atmosphere.... and the vile practice of charging to split a plate of your own food that you bought and paid for. Still, if it's their roof it's their rules, and it cannot be called "unfair".

                                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                  The problem is it does cost the restaurant more if they split the plate (meaning you each get a separate plate) you usually end up getting more of the sides to make the plate look better. Also, there is the extra dish. But is that worth more than a couple of bucks? Not sure.

                                  1. re: Missmoo

                                    As a waiter, I'd have to pay attention and spend more time with one more person. This may seem inconsequential, but if there is more than more than one person splitting a plate, it adds up--filling up water, making sure things are okay, busing the table, etc. They may split a plate, but they both expect the same service.

                                    Also, let's suppose there are three people in a party where one person splits a plate. We would need to seat them at a table for four, which may force another party of four, non-plate-sharing persons to wait.

                            2. Totally fair and reasonable.