Chef Mike's MBG ,charge extra for Ice ?
Most recently I went to Chef Mike's ABG and ran into something that confused me. I ordered Johnny Walker red on the rocks and was originally charged eight dollars. Upon my second drink I was charged $10 when I received the check I asked the bar person why. She stated that there was a dollar extra for drinks on the rocks. Please note that she did not advise me of this until I pointed this out on the check.
This caused me concern and I wrote Chef Mike via email .He stated that this is his practice to charge for ice and it was his understanding that 99% of all restaurants do the same
. I and my wife visit various restaurants in the shore on a regular basis and to our knowledge we are never charged extra for ice.
He goes on to explain in his email that those that order drinks on the rocks get extra liquor. !!If that is the case why allegedly charge extra for the ice ,charge for the extra Booze . I find this to be a deceptive practice.
I also find this nickel and dime policy confusing arbitrary and capricious.
Please explain to me if you find this to be the general practice in restaurants in New Jersey? If so where and why ?
After reviewing my post I think I would be remiss by not saying that Chef Mike's ABG restaurant is one of the top restaurants in the shore area and in my opinion the best Ocean County. The food has always been exceptional, the wait staff is well trained and attentive. The view is second to none.. When Chef Mike was with 709 Arnold Ave. we followed him to that location and again found superior cuisine and a professional wait staff .
. I may not agree with Chef Mike's policy but that being said I find him to be a standup guy who supports this policy and explained why it was in place.
There may be a confusion of terms....and since you do not reproduce the actual messages you received by email, I'm inclined to side on the side of the restaurant. With regards to the the different charges made for your drinks....it was a correction, so again, no complaint. Drinks served on the rocks are almost always charged at a higher level than a Highball...again no complaint and not a deceptive practice. This is not a New Jersey thing, but a worldwide practice and policy.
As for the confusion of charging for ice....the general and correct way to order and describe is *On the Rocks*. There is more liquor poured and it's appropriate to charge accordingly for the extra liquor.
It's unreasonable on your part to expect someone to announce the policy of an extra dollar for a drink on the rocks. Usually, you are getting an extra .75-1.0 ounces of liquor...sometimes more. If they only upcharged you a buck...I think you got a pretty good value and deal.
The only time I have ever been charged for ice in New Jersey was at a shitty BYOB in Cape May called 410 Bank Street. The practice is illegal and I reported them to the ABC.
Most restaurants do not charge for ice..if a BYOB does so, or charges you anything along the lines of a glass or ice set-up charge to hold your beer or wine....it's illegal and a punishable offense by the Division of Alcohol and Beverage control....even though the BYOB does not hold a liquor license.
How about soda refills? The other night I decided to not have any cocktails and take a night off. I am at the very popular pizza place in Red Bank (the word opposite of Sisters lol)
I get my bill and have 2 fountain sodas for me and 2 fountain seltzer waters for my wife. They total ten bucks (or maybe 8...either one) on my bill with one large pizza. Is that normal? I don't usually drink soda in restaurants. Needless to say I will drink beer next time for slightly more per glass.
re: corvette johnny
I see both sides of the debate for soda...and if the refills, or not, should be charged.
Most chain restaurants give free refills....most private mom and pops do not unless it's in their business model. In general as a customer or as an owner, I would deem $2.50 to be an appropriate charge for bottomless soft drinks per person.
Places that charge per small glass, pack with ice and.do there best to maximize charges are their own worst enemy. It only invites the diners to share drinks or order water....thus not increasing the per person check average and the the total bill....or to BYOB at some other place. Drinks are for the most part the most profitable items on the menu...but not quite as much profit as many believe for fountain soda with the cost of sugar and high fructose corn syrup these days. I'm in the vending business and a case of beer is cheaper than the soda i purchase to fill my machines or resell to to my customers. A case of Corona can be cheaper than a case of Coca-cola products...and definitely cheaper than a Boutique brand.
Pizzeria's are the worst offenders of fountain soda charges.
My approach as an owner was always squeeze an extra buck out of the patrons on any given day and money was to be made through cash flow.