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B&G OYSTERS NEVER EVER AGAIN

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wjmcdonough Mar 19, 2013 06:13 PM

Who, what a shock. Invited spouse and daughter who now works in Boston to a what I had thought would be a great lunch at B&G during Restaurant Week. Wow, what a disappointment. Asked server, who was polite, if my daughter could order just one of the three items on the luncheon offering for $20.13. To my surprise, the one thing, a HORRIFIC roasted artichoke salad was $22.00 as a stand alone menu item. In fact it really wasn't on the menu at all, and on our slip it was listed as a Cobb Salad. WHY WOULD one item on the menu of three be more than all three??? WHY didn't our server suggest we order all three, to SAVE MONEY???

NEVER EVER AGAIN. By the way, artichokes were not ripe, were hard, and meal was not finished.

  1. hotoynoodle Mar 19, 2013 06:47 PM

    i am firmly in the anti- b& g camp, but were you trying to order just one course to pay 1/3 of the price? to have a meal for $6? if that's the case, yes, your server absolutely should have told you the price would be the same no matter what, but i don't know why you would think this is ok to do.

    I'm sure the listing of cobb salad and $22 instead of $20.13 were computer glitches -- probably a not-on-the-ball manager failed to program the items properly.

    i'm sorry you had a bad meal, but one of my worst ever dinners in boston was there and even before that, i always left feeling utterly hosed.

    4 Replies
    1. re: hotoynoodle
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      wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 06:05 AM

      All good points. I guess we would have expected when we asked the server if we could order just one of the three, that he would have advised "order the entire menu", it's more effective for you.

      We have dined there at least 20 times, and had a fairly large graduation party there five years ago, but this lunch was such a poor example of what should have been an enjoyable time.

      1. re: wjmcdonough
        Bob Dobalina Mar 20, 2013 07:01 AM

        Wow...you've dined there almost 2 dozen times and now they are dead to you after one <$20 screw-up? Tough crowd.

        Though I do wonder whether the server did this to you on purpose. I imagine that staff are already peeved at having to work RW lunches for 10-15% gratuity (assuming RW'ers are cheapskates) so basically $2-3 / patron. Then you come in and one of your party wants a plate at 1/3 the $20 dollar price? Could see someone deliberately messing with you.

        1. re: Bob Dobalina
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          wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 10:55 AM

          Not tough, honest. $250.00 lunch with wine of course, and tip was 18%.

          1. re: wjmcdonough
            Bob Dobalina Mar 20, 2013 06:00 PM

            What kind of wine did you get?

    2. c
      CambridgeFoodie Mar 20, 2013 04:21 AM

      I think you should take some responsibility in this mishap.

      1. It clearly was a mistake - why didn't you politely point out the pricing anomaly to the server? B&G does not have the item in their computer because it is meant to be ordered as part of the RW bundle, not individually.

      2. If price is so important to you - as it appears to be by planning a luncheon at B&G around RW week, why didn't you simply ask upfront what the solo entree price would be?

      3. Finally - if you were so unhappy with your meal - as evidenced by repeated use of capital letters, why didn't you politely tell the manager. If a customer was unhappy with your fence job, wouldn't you want them to tell you and provide an opportunity to "make it right?"

      To be clear, I am not associated with B&G but definitely am a fan of the restaurant for entrees featuring what it is known for...seafood.

      3 Replies
      1. re: CambridgeFoodie
        w
        wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 06:10 AM

        It's called transparency. In my industry, I would be fired by a client if they were surprised by pricing. When I asked if we could order just one part of the menu I would have expected the server to be "transparent" and say "Better for you if you order the entire meal"...That did not happen.

        Re the capital letters, yes we were unhappy, and yes we did mention it, and rather than make a scene, we opted to deal with it another way.

        Thanks for your note, appreciate the expertise from Cambridge.

        1. re: wjmcdonough
          l
          LeoLioness Mar 20, 2013 10:29 AM

          Perhaps the server thought it was more about food portion and less about cost?

          It's not "better for you" if you don't want to eat that much food...

          1. re: wjmcdonough
            c
            CambridgeFoodie Mar 20, 2013 06:49 PM

            Really no need to be sarcastic...

        2. c
          ChocolateMilkshake Mar 20, 2013 05:30 AM

          Perhaps it's on the bill as Cobb Salad because it's listed on the RW menu as "Roasted Artichoke Cobb Salad".

          3 Replies
          1. re: ChocolateMilkshake
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            wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 06:11 AM

            You are abosolutely correct ChocolateMilkshake, my error. But no price, correct, ChocolateMilkshake? Thanks for point that out.

            In touch with the restaurant today and will resolve. Thanks again.

            1. re: wjmcdonough
              b
              BlueTrain84 Mar 20, 2013 08:47 AM

              Generally speaking, RW menus do not list individual item prices since the menu is designed as a prix fixe.

              1. re: BlueTrain84
                w
                wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 10:56 AM

                You are 100% correct. But you could not find that salad anywhere else either on the menu - should have asked.

          2. Boston_Otter Mar 20, 2013 06:24 AM

            Many restaurants during RW will require a minimum order from patrons who're dining with you and not getting the RW menu when everyone else is. Since you were ordering off the menu for your daughter, I imagine they charged full price for the salad to make up for her not participating in the full menu.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Boston_Otter
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              wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 06:43 AM

              I agree, they just need to let patrons know that - in other words say the salad alone is $22.00, the entire menu is only $20.13! We spent 250.00+ for lunch for three people. I think they did fine...Thanks for your thoughts.

              1. re: wjmcdonough
                c
                CambridgeFoodie Mar 20, 2013 09:21 AM

                If money was not the object ($250 for 3 for lunch); why did you fight the crowds during RW for an arguably inferior menu selection?

                1. re: CambridgeFoodie
                  b
                  bakerboyz Mar 20, 2013 09:47 AM

                  A little off-topic but I am having trouble with the math. 3 people at $20.13 for two and $22 for one. That's $62.26. Even with tip and tax, how did you spend "$250+"?

                  1. re: bakerboyz
                    b
                    BlueTrain84 Mar 20, 2013 10:39 AM

                    Must be one nice bottle of wine!

                  2. re: CambridgeFoodie
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                    wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 10:57 AM

                    No crowds at all there, may half the tables take during the major lunch hour at 1:15pm. Pleasant experience otherwise, and no crowds. Many walk-ins off the street. I was surprised as well.

                  3. re: wjmcdonough
                    Boston_Otter Mar 20, 2013 11:35 AM

                    If you did two RW menus at $20.13 each and one $22 salad, did you seriously get a $160 bottle of wine?

                2. Jacquilynne Mar 20, 2013 07:35 AM

                  Toronto has something similar to Restaurant Week under a different name, and the first year I participated I went to a restaurant that was serving the same dishes as on their regular menu in the prix fixe. I ordered one dish as part of the prix fixe and one of my dining companions ordered the same dish off the regular menu. My serving was about a third the size of hers and I was kinda choked. With more experience with these promotions, I've realized that this is pretty normal. The prices are so low that the businesses have to make up money somewhere, whether by offering cheaper dishes on their prix fixe menu or by offering smaller portions of their typical dishes.

                  I wonder if that's what happened here -- you thought you were ordering one element of a prix fixe, but because it was a regular menu item, you actually got a full entree sized version of the dish. If that's the case, the restaurant may not even have a price for ordering an element of the prix fixe as a standalone dish, or an option in their POS for ordering it.

                  If you were only given a copy of the prix fixe menu and didn't have a regular menu at the table, they definitely should have made sure you knew what you were ordering and what it costs, but I think this might have been the source of the problem.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Jacquilynne
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                    lergnom Mar 20, 2013 08:31 AM

                    This is generally right. I agree. The point of coming up with a 3 course RW meal is they devise it so x, y and z cost so much. If you take any one of x, y or z and change it, then it costs more.

                    I can go into any Chinese restaurant and order a lunch special. If I order the same food off the regular menu, it costs more and the portion is different.

                    1. re: lergnom
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                      wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 10:59 AM

                      Portions not an issue at B&G, they are the same as far as I can tell. I was pleased with my day scallops, three very large seared on a bed of fennel puree.

                  2. kobuta Mar 20, 2013 09:18 AM

                    I haven't been to B&G Oysters in years, but do remember a positive experience there for dinner back then.

                    I find the RW experience is managed differently at different venues - some will offer nothing but the RW menu, while others have their regular menu as well. In the latter, the server will always ask if someone is having the RW menu or not. Even if you wanted a dish off the RW menu, but not the prix fixe deal, it was understood you paid the full cost for that one dish. That does stink if the server hadn't clarified that for you. I may have taken it for granted that my experience with RW has always been all or none.

                    1. h
                      hyde Mar 20, 2013 10:20 AM

                      WHAT? A Barbara Lynch restaurant that is overpriced?

                      How did that happen?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: hyde
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                        wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 10:59 AM

                        Very funny! Good point.

                        1. re: hyde
                          Angel Food Mar 26, 2013 10:12 AM

                          I will say though, I had RW dinner at No 9 Park last night and it was the best restaurant week experience I've had. Great service and I notice they were giving each table a tasting of either a dessert wine or other wine complementary with one of the courses. My friend and I combined the $38 RW three course with their $58 five course tasting they are also offering, and it was perfect. $50 each for a four course meal there (some tasting, some larger).

                          1. re: hyde
                            Angel Food Mar 26, 2013 10:13 AM

                            But B&G was probably my least favorite experience, maybe 5 years ago.

                          2. w
                            wjmcdonough Mar 20, 2013 11:00 AM

                            In the spirit of being fair, as I reflect, I probably should have "barked" before I "bit". Took the time to call the Manager Jennifer and explained my issues. She went over the top both in terms of professionalism and being customer centric. For that, I am thankful.

                            1. b
                              Blumie Mar 20, 2013 11:16 AM

                              I haven't read this entire discussion, but it does confirm my belief that restaurant week sucks. It sucks for the restaurants. It sucks for the customers. Certainly a high quality and well managed establishment like B&G should be able to handle it as well as anybody, but it still sucks.

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