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Free Condiments

Gastronomos Aug 26, 2013 08:11 AM

Many places offer "free" condiments for sandwiches and other things, ketchup, mayo, mustard, butter, etc.
A single slice of cheap processed cheese is .50 - $1 a tiny slice.
A burger with nothing - $5
A burger with ketchup, mustard, mayo - $5
A burger with "cheese" - $6
An egg sandwich - $2
An egg sandwich with ketchup - $2
An egg sandwich with "cheese" - $2.50

  1. f
    flavrmeistr Aug 26, 2013 08:19 AM

    Annie's Dairy Bar in Glen Burnie, MD "gives away" lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, hots, pickles, relish, fried or raw onions on their subs/chili dogs. Cheese, chili and extra meat you have to pay for.

    2 Replies
    1. re: flavrmeistr
      JonParker Aug 26, 2013 09:07 AM

      Man, I love Anne's. So horrible for you and so, so good.

      1. re: JonParker
        flavrmeistr Aug 26, 2013 09:36 AM

        I'm glad there's only one.

    2. c
      Cathy Aug 26, 2013 08:36 AM

      Which places don't offer free condiments?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Cathy
        Dirtywextraolives Aug 27, 2013 02:55 PM

        I've usually only seen that at fast food places near college & high school campuses.

        1. re: Cathy
          westsidegal Sep 1, 2013 07:33 PM

          don't know if this answers your question or not,
          but, in the past, Chipotles would charge you if you have more than one spoonful of salsa.
          i presume this is still their policy

        2. juliejulez Aug 26, 2013 08:50 AM

          I don't think I've ever seen a place charge extra for a burger with basic condiments on it. Cheese, bacon, etc, yes, condiments, no.

          1 Reply
          1. re: juliejulez
            C. Hamster Aug 27, 2013 12:35 PM

            I've seen plenty of them around here. Generally bad food served by cheap ba$tards.

          2. Karl S Aug 26, 2013 08:51 AM


            1. TroyTempest Aug 26, 2013 09:09 AM

              There is a sandwich chain here in Austin, Thundercloud Subs, that gives free cheese but charges extra for pickles. But, they cut the pickle slices from the whole pickle when you order.

              4 Replies
              1. re: TroyTempest
                Veggo Aug 26, 2013 02:36 PM

                And their pitchers of beer are cold and fairly priced.

                1. re: Veggo
                  TroyTempest Aug 27, 2013 07:24 AM

                  When is the last time you've been to Thundercloud? I've yet to find one with beer. Tell me which one, if you know of one. Maybe back in the day.

                  1. re: TroyTempest
                    Veggo Aug 27, 2013 02:34 PM

                    The one near Town Lake trail after jogging. Maybe it was back in the day. But there were lots of good days.
                    EDIT: I just called the Lake Austin Dr. Thundercloud, no more beer. Just a laugh and a "I wish". Bummer. Sorry...

                    1. re: Veggo
                      TroyTempest Aug 28, 2013 07:07 AM

                      Ah, the good old days.
                      When i first got to town in the early 90's the Delaware Subs that was on Medical Parkway had beer on tap. It was interesting to occasionally see hospital patients drinking beer out on the patio, as it was a short walk to the hospital. Several years later i went craving a sub and a beer and, of course no more beer. Not that that the 2 had anything to do with each other.

              2. EM23 Aug 26, 2013 09:19 AM

                If you order a cheeseburger and pay extra, but then don’t get cheese on your breakfast sandwich and pay less, it all balances out. If however you insist on cheese on everything you’re going to be out a pretty penny in the long run.;-)

                1. o
                  ospreycove Aug 26, 2013 11:33 AM

                  There is no "magic in pricing restaurant foods. Nothing is "free" it is all part of COGS. If a business is ongoing they must make a return on their investment, "free" condiments or not, so one place that has "free" stuff vs. another that charges for condiments means that the ingredients used, (meat,bread, etc.) must be purchased for lower dollar amounts, meaning cheaper, lower quality ingredients. My thinking on this is "You are eating it". Do you want to consume the cheapest ingredients that are available?

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: ospreycove
                    Gastronomos Aug 27, 2013 06:04 AM

                    "Do you want to consume the cheapest ingredients that are available?"

                    The answer to that question would not be allowed on these boards and is for a much larger fast food / QSR / chain / "American" diet problem.

                    1. re: Gastronomos
                      ospreycove Sep 1, 2013 10:18 AM

                      If you go to any of the numerous "buffet" threads on CH one would rapidly believe that some folks equate quantity to quality.............

                      1. re: ospreycove
                        flavrmeistr Sep 1, 2013 05:33 PM

                        ...hence the proliferation of such establishments.

                        1. re: flavrmeistr
                          Veggo Sep 1, 2013 05:40 PM

                          We need more all you can eat buffets, with wheelchair ramps that could support a forklift for those who got their money's worth.

                  2. f
                    ferret Aug 26, 2013 11:48 AM

                    I'm not at all getting your point but it does bring to mind a menu pricing oddity at a place I used to live near. They had a patty melt for $2.69 and a grilled cheese for $2.59, so presumably the burger patty cost a dime.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ferret
                      Gastronomos Aug 27, 2013 05:57 AM

                      "I'll have two burger patty please."

                    2. Motosport Aug 26, 2013 11:52 AM

                      Panera Bread and Quizno's have the best condiments.
                      I stock up whenever I am there for those times when I forget to ask for extra mayo or mustard.

                      11 Replies
                      1. re: Motosport
                        fldhkybnva Aug 26, 2013 02:27 PM

                        You mean as in extra just to have at home?

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                          Motosport Aug 27, 2013 04:31 AM

                          For the office!!

                          1. re: fldhkybnva
                            jrvedivici Aug 27, 2013 06:36 AM

                            When I was a child I remembered my utter excitement at discovering Mc Donalds used the exact same monogrammed napkins as my grand parents, oh and the same individual ketchup's too!!!

                            I use to also LOVE when my grandfather took me to the grocery store and let me pick out whatever candy bar I wanted. We then walked around the store till I finished eating it and left. I must have consumed thousands of pilfered candy bars over the years. Funny the things you look back on as an adult and see them for what they truly were.

                            1. re: jrvedivici
                              Gastronomos Aug 27, 2013 08:58 AM

                              Jimmy Buffett's Peanut Butter Conspiracy !!!



                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                jrvedivici Aug 27, 2013 10:17 AM

                                Do you think he ever paid them back?

                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                  Gastronomos Aug 27, 2013 12:38 PM

                                  He says, "no".

                              2. re: jrvedivici
                                Dirtywextraolives Aug 27, 2013 02:52 PM


                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                  Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:12 PM

                                  Reminds me of a segment of my family. They always hit the condiment counter, and filled up every pocket and purse. Same for the restrooms!

                                  Though they were rather "well-off," they "collected" things, everywhere that they went.

                                  When they died, they had an entire garage bay full of plastic utensils, napkins, condiment packages and an entire wall of TP. Not sure what that was all about, but I would not have wished to use a restroom, after them, as everything would likely have been stripped, unless it was firmly attached.


                                  1. re: Bill Hunt
                                    Dirtywextraolives Aug 27, 2013 06:59 PM

                                    Oh. Lord. Help. You.

                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                      Bill Hunt Aug 30, 2013 08:21 PM

                                      Fortunately, they were rather "removed," so I do not take responsibility for them...


                                    2. re: Bill Hunt
                                      ospreycove Sep 1, 2013 10:20 AM

                                      Possibly suffered from.................
                                      "Hoarding Disease"???

                              3. pinehurst Aug 26, 2013 11:54 AM

                                So, you're complaining about the price of fake cheese, am I right?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: pinehurst
                                  Bill Hunt Aug 26, 2013 06:41 PM

                                  Actually, one should pay the patron to eat "fake cheese," just to rid the Earth of it.

                                  I never eat anything with Genuine Artificial Processed American Cheese Food Product on it. I could not do it as a kid, and cannot do it as an adult. I would rather eat the styro-foam box that a McDonald's burger comes in, but that is just me.


                                2. t
                                  treb Aug 26, 2013 01:11 PM

                                  Free ??? I believe the establishment owner has to purchase mustard, ketchup etc. Basic condiments are built in to the item price.

                                  1. f
                                    foiegras Aug 26, 2013 06:44 PM

                                    I have no idea what this thread is about, but at least it's not about helping oneself to the 'free' sugar, sweetener, jam, etc. stocked on each table.

                                    17 Replies
                                    1. re: foiegras
                                      Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:14 PM

                                      Not sure if it's in the thread, but we do collect Raw Sugar packets, when dining at many hotels' breakfast restaurants, but only to be used for the "in-room coffee." Normally, when traveling, we will pack a big handful of Raw Sugar, that we buy, but sometimes we do run out, and especially if we're on the road for a few weeks. I always tell the server that I am taking those to our room.


                                      1. re: Bill Hunt
                                        Violatp Aug 27, 2013 06:18 PM

                                        I admit to collecting and keeping the miniature condiments that come with room service. The wee jars of jam. The tiny bottles of ketchup, mustard, and mayo.

                                        So cute!

                                        I was so sad once to have a week's worth of room service condiments confiscated at the security gate. (forgot I'd put them in the carry on bag)

                                        1. re: Violatp
                                          Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:33 PM

                                          Shoot! Even though we fly nearly every week, we picked up some homemade jam at Blackberry Farm, and wife, without thinking, just stuck it into her carry-on. Guess what? TSA at TYS got a jar of jam, fresh from Blackberry Farm. Oh, we felt so dumb!

                                          Now, if I have opened the shower/bath products, I will often pack those away, but only in checked luggage.

                                          I do feel bad for the little jars of condiments, and will point out to the busser, if any have not been opened. Not sure about legalities, but I would hope that those DO get recycled to other diners, if the seal has not been broken. Maybe someone in the hotel industry can comment on that?

                                          I also try to be specific about what I am likely to use/need, so that other condiments do not come to my table. Just guilt on my part!


                                          1. re: Bill Hunt
                                            Violatp Aug 27, 2013 06:35 PM

                                            Oh, that must have smarted! Reminds me of a Thanksgiving turkey sandwich incident I had years ago where the plate cracked in half in the microwave and I had to throw away the sandwich.

                                            I still mourn that sandwich like you mourn your jam. :-)

                                            1. re: Violatp
                                              Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:39 PM

                                              Yeah. The jam was a bummer (but we ordered a mixed case, when we got back home), but missing that in the carry-on was the big issue - we both knew better, and just spaced it, but then we had a very, very early flight, so probably had not had the necessary amounts of coffee to function. It was almost akin to speeding through a school zone, a block from your house, that you drive through 2x per day, every week! We both knew better, but just had an ultra-dumb moment. That DID hurt!

                                              At least TSA had some great jam for their morning toast.


                                            2. re: Bill Hunt
                                              coll Aug 29, 2013 08:24 AM

                                              Those individual jars that hotel room service uses are VERY pricy for them to purchase, but don't worry, they make sure it's covered in your bill! Doubt they would throw away an unopened jar, except by accident.

                                              1. re: coll
                                                Bill Hunt Aug 30, 2013 08:23 PM

                                                Oh, I am certain that they ARE on my bill. Still, if I have not opened one, I make a point of notifying the server of that, so that they can be "recycled," and added to another's bill. I just flat hate to waste, whether I paid for it, or not.


                                              2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                jrvedivici Aug 29, 2013 09:25 AM

                                                While I have never been in the hospitality/hotel industry, I have been involved in the hospitality/restaurant industry my entire life. I can assure you those condiments are recycled (un-broken seal) as well as many, many, many other items you would prefer not to know.

                                                (let's just say there are some pickles in diners out there that can first hand recall the Nixon administration)

                                                1. re: jrvedivici
                                                  pine time Aug 29, 2013 09:29 AM

                                                  I worked in a hospital for years, and I was appalled when the dietician 'fessed up that trays of cold cuts, cut cheeses, and various crackers and condiments--all picked over, mind you--were recycled for the next 'do.

                                                  1. re: jrvedivici
                                                    Bill Hunt Aug 30, 2013 08:25 PM

                                                    So long as the seals are not broken, I have no issues.

                                                    Same for the bath products. As we usually travel with our own, I line up the supplied ones, to be reused. If I have used some, we just pack those back home with us, because they HAVE been opened, and partially used.


                                                    1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                      Motosport Aug 31, 2013 05:25 AM

                                                      Ever wonder what happens to the bar f hotel soap that has been barely used?

                                                      1. re: Motosport
                                                        Bill Hunt Aug 31, 2013 07:08 PM


                                                        That is beyond my concern.

                                                        Does it get recycled to the housekeeping staff? I do not know. We often travel with our own soap, so other than maybe one bar, for our hands, the others are left in their wrappings.


                                                        1. re: Bill Hunt
                                                          JonParker Sep 1, 2013 05:21 AM

                                                          I almost never use them, but I always take them when I go. They're part of the cost of my stay, and numerous organizations collect them and donate them to the homeless or disaster victims. If I can afford a couple of hundred bucks for a room, the hotel can afford me donating toiletries.

                                                          1. re: JonParker
                                                            Veggo Sep 1, 2013 07:05 AM

                                                            I remember a TV interview with Aaron Spelling, who owned one of the largest houses in America, and he was asked about his worst habits. He answered that he compulsively swipes all the toiletries from hotel stays, and had accumulated a lot of them. It was pretty funny.

                                                      2. re: Bill Hunt
                                                        pine time Aug 31, 2013 08:12 AM

                                                        I will scoop up hotel bath products that are unopened, 'cause a local women's shelter gives them to their clients as they're setting up a new household. I toss 'em all into the donate box, along with various "10 for $10" grocery items that I buy for donation during the year.

                                                        1. re: pine time
                                                          JMF Aug 31, 2013 09:38 AM

                                                          Our neighborhood association collects them to put together bags for our local shelter. Back when I was on the road for work non-stop I collected them and gave hundreds to go to the shelter.

                                                          1. re: pine time
                                                            Bill Hunt Aug 31, 2013 07:09 PM

                                                            Sounds like a great use for "recycled" bath products.

                                                            Now, we often have our own bath products, so much IS left behind, when we leave. Hope that someone benefits.


                                              3. k
                                                Kalivs Aug 26, 2013 06:53 PM

                                                I have no idea what they do now, but in Europe McDonald's used to charge for ketchup.

                                                4 Replies
                                                1. re: Kalivs
                                                  Gastronomos Aug 29, 2013 08:14 AM

                                                  is that because in some parts of Europe they use ketchup as spaghetti sauce? :-/

                                                  1. re: Kalivs
                                                    drongo Sep 1, 2013 05:45 AM

                                                    While on the topic of charging for ketchup, I found this recent news story amusing: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com...

                                                    A guy from Glasgow (where ketchup is apparently the standard condiment) is accusing a place in Edinburgh of anti-Glaswegian "racism" because it charges for ketchup but not for brown sauce (which is apparently the standard condiment in Edinburgh).

                                                    1. re: drongo
                                                      Gastronomos Sep 1, 2013 06:57 AM

                                                      I like Daddies, but this is of Heinz:

                                                      1. re: Gastronomos
                                                        coll Sep 1, 2013 08:12 AM

                                                        I'd love to get a sample pack of those.

                                                  2. JayL Aug 26, 2013 07:19 PM

                                                    1oz. of ketchup costs $.05
                                                    1oz. of mayo costs $.05
                                                    1oz. of mustard costs $.05

                                                    A slice of cheese costs $0.25

                                                    Simple food costing...economics...and profitability.

                                                    And the other poster is correct in that simple condiments should be built into the menu price. Cheese isn't a condiment.

                                                    Hopefully this post won't be deleted like the last one.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: JayL
                                                      Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:16 PM

                                                      I never expect cheese to be free. I see it as an add-on, and am willing to pay for it, as such, so long as it is "real cheese," and not something else. Same for bacon, mushrooms, or similar. I expect to pay for those add-ons.


                                                    2. JMF Aug 26, 2013 11:41 PM

                                                      So what's your point?

                                                      1. viperlush Aug 27, 2013 06:07 AM

                                                        One of the reasons I like 5 Guys. Sautéed onions and mushrooms are free toppings. Other places they are extra.

                                                        7 Replies
                                                        1. re: viperlush
                                                          Gastronomos Aug 27, 2013 06:17 AM

                                                          at Five Guys ALL of the pics below "free", but $1 for a tiny slice of processed cheese product...

                                                          1. re: Gastronomos
                                                            Karl S Aug 27, 2013 06:57 AM

                                                            And what's your question?

                                                            1. re: Gastronomos
                                                              juliejulez Aug 27, 2013 09:03 AM

                                                              OK so, if you don't like it, don't go there?

                                                              1. re: Gastronomos
                                                                mike0989 Aug 27, 2013 10:01 AM

                                                                No they charge a dollar more for a cheeseburger. They are two seperate items on the menu.

                                                              2. re: viperlush
                                                                C. Hamster Aug 27, 2013 12:37 PM

                                                                The Five Guys onions and mushrooms around here are dripping with grease and just yuck. Great idea poorly executed. Here at least.

                                                                1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                  foiegras Aug 27, 2013 02:02 PM

                                                                  Hey ... that grease is free.

                                                                  1. re: C. Hamster
                                                                    Bill Hunt Aug 27, 2013 06:17 PM

                                                                    Do they charge extra for the grease, or is that free?


                                                                2. PotatoHouse Sep 1, 2013 08:37 AM

                                                                  McDonald's (at least our local one) CHARGES for extra condiments/sauces in the drive thru but they are not only FREE but SELF SERVE inside!!

                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                  1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                    SaraAshley Sep 1, 2013 11:04 AM

                                                                    What do you mean by "extra"? Like if you order Chicken Mcnuggets are you allowed a certain amount of BBQ sauces complimentary, but are charged for additional ones? Just curious because this is not how it is at my local McDonald's.

                                                                    1. re: SaraAshley
                                                                      PotatoHouse Sep 1, 2013 01:20 PM

                                                                      Exactly, Sara. You get 4 sauces for a 20 piece chicken nuggets but if you ask for 1 or 2 extra you get charged for the extra 1 or 2, but there are self serve sauce pumps inside next to the napkins and straws.

                                                                      1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                        SaraAshley Sep 1, 2013 02:27 PM

                                                                        Well damn....isn't that some shit. I have Wendy's by my work that I go to occasionally and they are forever Scrooges with their sauces. They will give you one, and you always have to ask as they're shutting the window in your face. However, depending on how much food I have, if I need more I will ask and I don't get charged.

                                                                        1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                                          juliejulez Sep 3, 2013 02:51 PM

                                                                          I've found this varies on location and even on who is working. Sometimes I've been charged a quarter, sometimes not at all.

                                                                    2. SaraAshley Sep 1, 2013 11:01 AM

                                                                      I will maintain that Chik-fil-a has the best selection of self serve condiments of any place I've ever been to. They still keep their "Chik-fil-a sauces" behind the counter, but you have Welches grape jelly, Ketchup, mayo, mustard, etc, and don't forget the wet naps at your disposal.

                                                                      1. j
                                                                        Jenny Ondioline Sep 1, 2013 01:45 PM

                                                                        My mind immediately went to Keith Knight's comic strip The Knight Life, especially the strip where his German-born wife discovers that minor-league baseball parks put out free sauerkraut for the hot dogs:


                                                                        I still have absolutely no idea what the OP's point is, however.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline
                                                                          Gastronomos Sep 4, 2013 06:14 PM

                                                                          is it old Germans only then

                                                                        2. Atomic76 Sep 1, 2013 07:24 PM

                                                                          The B-Spot will give you free bacon on it if you order a veggie burger there, lol. I've always been tempted to do that just for laughs.

                                                                          When I was a server, I noticed people from the south would get really PO'ed if we charged for breadsticks - which they often do here in the north.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Atomic76
                                                                            Jenny Ondioline Sep 1, 2013 08:41 PM

                                                                            At my neighborhood pub when I lived in Albuquerque, one of my standard order was the veggie burger plus bacon. Their veggie burger just tasted better than their beef burger.

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