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In the United States, when, if ever, do you haggle over food prices?

Let's just limit this to the United States, because from my understanding and experience haggling for everything, not just food, is much more common and commonly accepted in other parts of the world.

So, in the United States, do you ever haggle over food or meal prices?

I know some consider it déclassé, but I also know that many of us do it (myself included), so please feel free to share.

Personally, I've done it at local Farmer's Markets, county fairs, coffee shops (incl. Starbucks), and your typical neighborhood ethnic eateries, incl. many many Chinese restaurants of all stripes.

No judgments please, let's just share stories and experiences. Because people also consider picking your nose déclassé, but I know I do it, and I proudly admit it.

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  1. Almost never.

    The rare occasion (and I can only remember 2-3 times in my life) is at a farmers market and once at a fish monger. I was buying a lot at both places for a big party so haggled because of the volume I was buying.

    For those that don't know as well - Whole Paycheck does case discounts on anything in their stores (or mine does). So even if I'm buying a lot of chickens I ask how many are in a case and get a 10% discount. Not really haggling but along a similar line as what I wanted from the above examples.

    Edit: there are aspects of this thread that already rub me the wrong way but I'm not sure I can articulate them all right now - I'll be interested to see if anyone really does this in the US (except for the OP who we already know does this of course, so some must).

    1. I am the punchline to the old joke: "Somebody's got to pay retail!"

      1 Reply
      1. I've never haggled over food or meal prices, and rarely over other goods & services. I just think the practice is tacky.
        In fact, it saddens me that buying many things in the USA has become rather like buying something in a Persian market...maybe even worse.
        Our whole society seems to be becoming déclassé.

        Sorry, I guess that was a judgement. If my comment gets deleted, I understand. If it doesn't, I hope it provides food for thought. It would be something interesting to explore in anappropriate forum.

        15 Replies
        1. re: The Professor

          how is haggling déclassé? I wouldn't buy a house or a car for the asked price or accept a decent professional level job at the first offer (different and more complicated scale I know), and granted in a restaurant I would just suck it up to the stated prices unless it was horribly wrong. but if at a market and the fruit is bruised or the meat turning an unfortunate shade...

          as for services there's always the value in being a repeat client and the expectation of future work (and damn right I'll steer that work their way when I can)

          1. re: The Professor

            "it saddens me that buying many things in the USA has become rather like buying something in a Persian market...maybe even worse."

            Where? In my daily life I can't think of where I routinely haggle over price.

            1. re: Chinon00

              Huh. I was a real estate broker for ten years. Haggled daily over price, fees, terms, commissions.

              1. re: Leonardo

                Most people don't buy or sell houses everyday.

                1. re: Chinon00

                  if one is sitting in front of a menu and saying to the staff "no way I'm paying $X for halibut, what can you do for me?" yeah that would be a bit odd. but the idea of haggling in and of itself isn't so wrong. "can I have a half-portion, since I can't take the rest with me and I pay 5/8 the regular price?" sounds difficult and a total pain to accommodate but not unreasonable.

                  at a store saying "I love these peaches but someone's been shaking this tree and $1.69# really?" is different.

                  1. re: hill food

                    If you only eat half of the entrée ask for 50% off!!!
                    Yeah, that's the ticket!!
                    Funny story: I know a well to do 60ish couple that go to McD's in the AM for breakfast. There is a breakfast special of Egg McMuffin with a free coffee and free refills. They split the egg thingy and the cup of coffee and usually get 2 refills. Then they walk to the parking lot and get in their Mercedes.

                    1. re: Motosport

                      that funny story is many people in my neighborhood...

                      1. re: Motosport

                        oh c'mon that portion negotiation would be arranged BEFORE the order ever hit the kitchen. duh. but I think it fair to pay a bit more than half (same service and kitchen work really) for half the plate. this is why I have been known to lie about having a gastric bypass rather than get the after-dinner guilt-trip.

                        this is why I like the places that do small plate/large plate versions, yeah sure it's very 1995 but it works for me.

                        once at a chef's flight tasting menu type place in Chicago, at the end I declined dessert as I don't really do sweets and the waitress suggested 'next time' I swap in an appetizer replacement. well if I'd known, they'd be that accommodating... I think she did bring me a port or something.

                        1. re: Motosport

                          The McMuffin/Mercedes story? My dad would say that is how the couple affords the Mercedes!

                          At the coffee shop in my town, there is a note posted at the cash register AND on the coffee makers that reads "Free refills do not apply to people sharing cups!"

                          Very entertaining things happen when extreme frugality and food issues collide.

                          I served on a board with an extremely wealthy (Forbes 400 wealthy) woman that would instruct the catering staff to package up all the leftover food from the meetings so she could take it home to her husband.

                          One day she took home a huge pile of bagel sandwiches that had been sitting out for hours. Probably still edible but really?

                          The poor girl from the catering company honestly didn't think Mrs. X was serious but Mrs. X was not deterred, out she pranced with a huge platter of bagel sandwiches.

                          1. re: cleobeach

                            Maybe she had a very big dog??? Hah!!

                              1. re: tcamp

                                My husband used to work for Leona Helmsley (personally, not at one of her hotels) and he can tell you some stories!

                                1. re: coll

                                  oh god I still remember the profile of Leona in SPY magazine around 1988 (oh yeah sure they torqued the details, but there was an element of truth)

                                  1. re: hill food

                                    He actually admired her, but he has a similar personality, very good at expressing himself at the expense of others.

                                    She was a smart cookie, until it all came crashing down. But "The Queen of Mean" was a perfect description. Luckily she liked my husband, he lasted a few years. Possibly a record!

                2. I have haggled at farmers markets, our local Asian market (it's the norm there), and for large banquets and other events like that.

                  EDIT - I forgot and in Hawaii, I always ask for the local discount, sometimes you get it sometimes you don't, really depends upon how tan I am at the time.
                  And I'll haggle with fishmongers and fisherman right off the pier.

                  1. I am terrible at haggling. Somebody usually had to do it for me. Especially at flea and antique markets in Europe.

                    If I do not feel the item is worth the price, I normally go to the next stall. Besides, my face always shows if I really want something. Which is why I do not play cards for money.

                    42 Replies
                    1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                      Me, too. I admire people who can haggle. Hopefully I pick up some tips on this thread.

                      1. re: KrumTx

                        I think the key is respect.

                        Like so many things in life, if one is able to empathize and appreciate the other perspective in the end everyone benefits.

                        If the person you are speaking to is not in a position to bargain or is not willing then don't push it. But more often than not many people who are in a position to bargain will readily do if approached first about it - no one will really ever advertise that they're completely negotiable.

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          I agree. I'll try to keep this short so as not to bore you to tears:

                          Two years ago, my dad and stepmom (age 72) moved to a suburb of KC. Within a block of each other were tons of stores. When I went to visit, we went to a few. At every one, stepmom politely haggled. Dean and Deluca: no go. Trader Joe's: free candy bar at checkout. Apple: free mouse and another accessory. Tapas restaurant: free round of drinks.

                          I remember being annoyed and embarrassed. My dad just shook his head. But when we were back at their home and she was unpacking things, I made a snide remark and she responded "it never hurts to ask!"

                          She was right. She saved probably 100 bucks that day. It wasn't out of necessity - they were financially comfortable. But she had a point. She was kind when asking. She never pushed it. Props to her.

                          Dad died suddenly a few weeks later. This is my last big memory of her. I can't haggle for the life of me, but I think I'm going to try, at times. As you said, it's all about respect.

                          1. re: KrumTx

                            One should never be pushy when negotiating.

                            Broach the issue politely and gently, and no matter how or when you bargain just remember to keep something in mind: both parties need to (and should) benefit if the bargaining is to work.

                            Great story, by the way, thanks for sharing.

                            1. re: KrumTx

                              I think KrumTx father was married to my aunt! My father (and his sisters) operated under the same "it can't hurt to ask" and it forever embarrassed me. As a result, I don't haggle or ask for discounts for food purchases.

                              1. re: KrumTx

                                Krum - yep as somebody in business once pointed out to me "you don't ask - you don't get"

                                worst that can happen is they say no.

                                1. re: hill food

                                  Or, they pity or otherwise think you have some sort of condition that causes you to ask for free stuff. That could be worse.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                      But it's true. For example,if an elderly woman, as described above, asked for a candy bar or whatever else from a place where asking for free food is not the norm, I'd probably say yes out of pity.

                                      It would be much harder for me to say no in that case, than to the rude, pushy person who asked for a freebie.

                                      1. re: LeoLioness

                                        a nice and polite person is not a pushy one. and anyway who needs a stranger's pity or 2nd thoughts if they haven't been affronted? they can say no. you can say no. I have said no (nicely). it's within the rules.

                                        perhaps a better term would be 'bargaining' and that doesn't equate awkward scenes or more.

                                        1. re: LeoLioness

                                          I take it you're not elderly yet? Live and learn. It feels good not to care what others think about you, whether right or wrong.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            Folks, can't we just withhold judgment on this issue in this thread?

                                            Some people will haggle, bargain, negotiate, or whatever you want to call it, some people won't.

                                            That's just a fact. And that's what I'd like to explore.

                                            If you want to discuss who is right, or wrong, by all means feel free to do so. On a new thread.

                                            1. re: coll

                                              Point taken, but not entirely. I know plenty of elderly people for whom their personal decorum is always something they think about.

                                              1. re: coll

                                                coll - right now I'm picturing you as the character of Sophia on "the Golden Girls"! HA!

                                                1. re: hill food

                                                  Well give me another 20 years.....I'm getting there!

                                                  1. re: coll

                                                    she was the youngest one on that show!

                                      2. re: KrumTx

                                        Krum, my wife is far more likely to haggle, not for food necessarily, but other things, and that can possibly be that she grew up in Brooklyn and her mother did most of their shopping at the small independent grocers rather than supermarkets and so learned that there. She's always getting deals by "asking." I should do more of it. I do when I'm other countries where haggling is standard, but here I just don't really consider it.

                                        1. re: EarlyBird

                                          It works in sub-cultures that come from haggling cultures. In the US, the very widespread cultural assumption (dating back to its popularization by the Quakers) is that a merchant who permits haggling is a merchant without integrity. There are some significant exceptions - such as car dealers - but the exceptional nature of these is such that most Americans treat those not as opportunities but as anxiety-inducing; note that car dealers are not widely esteemed for integrity....

                                          In Boston's Haymarket, vendors include a certain percentage of sub-quality produce as part of the deal; you don't get to pick, he/she gets to pick and ensure that each customer gets a fair share of good and subpar. There is some haggling that goes on, especially towards the end of the day. It can be a sport. But it can also intimidate newbies.

                                          1. re: Karl S

                                            USA vehicle dealers encourage the "haggling" process. Except for Saturn of course. OOPS!! they are gone, that did not work!!!
                                            Otherwise, real estate, appliance, electronic and art dealers haggle.
                                            Not too much haggling when it comes to food in markets or restaurants.

                                            1. re: Motosport

                                              Plenty of haggling over food in restaurants (in the kitchen) and supermarkets(in the warehouse). I used to "haggle" all day long, it's a true art!

                                              1. re: coll

                                                But not by the normal retail client.

                                                1. re: Motosport

                                                  OK I admit I'm a little abnormal.

                                              2. re: Motosport

                                                I often said (until it was too late) that were I ever to buy a car I'd buy one from Saturn for this exact reason. I refuse to haggle. Despite what customers think, they're *not* going to win - I have a friend who swears that he's talking people down to a point that they're uncomfortable, sorry but no.

                                                Ask for a fair price and I'll choose to pay for it or not.

                                                Similarly haggling is the exact reason that I never resell things - I'd rather throw stuff away than for instance sell it on craigslist or whatever. Because invariably some jackwagon shows up trying to haggle the price. No, the price was stated as X, you agreed to X and now you just wasted my time by not accepting X when you show up.

                                                1. re: jgg13

                                                  if a person shows up and wants to haggle, you have the option to refuse, lol, ya know?

                                                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                    When I sell something on Craigslist I state up front: Those who attempt to haggle will be sent off the property.

                                                    1. re: Leonardo

                                                      right. if something is posted as "price firm", i'd have no trouble respecting that.

                                                      certain items i've sold that way and if people tried to bargain me down i told them no. pretty simple.

                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                        or at that point the price goes up 10% "that was price was good 5 minutes ago but ya ticked me off"

                                                        1. re: hill food

                                                          At our store we call it aggravation tax.

                                                    2. re: hotoynoodle

                                                      Of course I do. But they've wasted my time just by me being available for them to show up.

                                                      There are some people (and I've known people who do this, unfortunately) who are banking on the seller being peeved about just this and figuring that the lost time (setting up the sale, being available for the buyer, etc) wasn't worth the difference in money the buyer was trying to put forth.

                                                      1. re: jgg13

                                                        If you're in sales long enough, you learn how to up the charges for time wasters and their aggravations. They pay, or they go away, either way you win.

                                                        1. re: coll

                                                          There's a reason why I'm not in sales, see my first post on the topic about how I always admired Saturn for their no haggling policy. I don't want to deal with the headaches from either side :)

                                                          1. re: jgg13

                                                            I fell into sales, and it took my years to learn to turn people down. It's a good lesson in life, didn't come naturally to me. I'm not talking only about haggling, but about walking away when need be. People shouldn't be afraid to do that more often. I don't get "peeved", I get even.

                                                            1. re: coll

                                                              Back in the day my boss, a very wise man, said:
                                                              "The best way to get back at an annoying client, sell them more!!"

                                                              1. re: Motosport

                                                                And my favorite boss of all times had a sign in his office that said "Tact: the ability to tell a man to go to hell, and make him happy to be on his way!"

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  what, piss on his head and convince him it really IS raining? well he'll need a hat or an umbrella if you happen to sell those.

                                                                  1. re: hill food

                                                                    Creating a need IS a very important part of a good sales pitch.

                                                  2. re: Motosport

                                                    As Schmerler Ford used to advertise: 'Bring in the wife and we'll dicker!"

                                                  3. re: Karl S

                                                    when was the last time you actually shopped at haymarket?

                                                    i haven't gotten bad produce from anybody in well over a decade and many of the vendors now indeed let you pick your own.

                                                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                      I admit it's been over 20 yrs. I didn't realize they changed the old ways. So my comment reflects how it *used* to be....

                                                      1. re: Karl S

                                                        many of the old school guys that ran stalls have been replaced by more recent immigrants. it has definitely changed for the better.

                                          1. On the rare occasion I'm near a take-out place right near its closing time, I'll take a chance.

                                            There was a (eh, nasty) sushi place at my college, which was part of the meal plan. When a particular (Mongolian) woman was there, she'd let me take four-five 8-piece packages of sushi for the price of one. At least she realized that it was NOT something to resell the next day...


                                            1. The only time I might bargain is if the person with whom I'm speaking has the power to set or change prices. And even then, very rarely. Trying to get a "deal" from a counterperson at a coffee shop seems like very poor manners to me.

                                              12 Replies
                                              1. re: small h

                                                Let me give an example. Many times haggling for me is not necessarily about the "deal".

                                                At Starbucks, sometimes the barista will make the wrong order, or make an order that the customer did not intend to order, but whatever -- the wrong drink was prepared. If I see that, I'll offer to buy it at 50% of the retail, or whatever. Almost always I've never had a problem with the barista because it's usu. just tossed anyway. Then I give the drink to someone in the office as there are more than enough people who will generally drink anything sweet, caffeinated, and from Starbucks.

                                                It's really a win-win for everyone. At least in my world.

                                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                                  I think we might have different ideas of what bargaining means. Your example seems like an offer to buy something that would otherwise be trashed - that's a nice thing to do, because at least Starbucks gets 50% of the original price, instead of 0%. To me, bargaining is attempting to negotiate a lower price for something that the customer behind you would probably be willing to pay full price for. As in, "that lemon square looks smaller than the others - can I have it for 20% off?"

                                                  1. re: small h

                                                    But I haggle over how much I should pay for the "mistake" drink.

                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                      I'm surprised anyone bothers to engage you in a negotiation. The drink's either going to you or down the drain - anything you offer is more than Starbucks would've gotten for it. I've had "mistake" cocktails offered to me at bars now & then; every one has been on the house.

                                                      1. re: small h

                                                        Seriously, what's odd is that you actually pay anything for the mistake drink. You should just tell the barista that you'll take it so it doesn't go to waste.

                                                      2. re: ipsedixit

                                                        Ipse, at first I was puzzled by your OP about bargaining at SBUX. Now that you have explained the circumstances, I think you are overpaying. I've been the customer behind the one who got the wrong order. Instead of offering to pay 50%, I've had the counter person ask me if I wanted it. Got if for 0. Even better than 50% off and I didn't have to say a thing. While I can see negotiating for a discount when buying certain things (e.g. large purchase of wine), I couldn't imagine being in a restaurant, asking about the special of the day, being told it cost $x and I say "How about $x-y?"

                                                        ETA: I see my point about SBUX was picked up below. Guess I should read more before I post, but that's another thread.

                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                      The SBs around here give them away for free and would never think to charge for them. Usually they are offered to the person who got the wrong order as an extra and if they don't want it it's offered to anyone in line. Mix ups are built into the pricing structure.

                                                      1. re: foodieX2

                                                        There are people around here who game the system, unfortunately.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                          You're contributing to that by offering money for something that is normally (literally, in every Starbucks I've ever been to) free.

                                                          1. re: LeoLioness

                                                            i got lost at the "being nice to starbuck's" thinking...

                                                            1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                              I have never lost anything by being nice to people. Whoever they work for, if not themselves.

                                                              Corporate entities are not people and usually don't give a flying fig.

                                                              1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                                                                if a barista makes the wrong item, that cost doesn't come out of his/her pocket. nobody is suggesting mistreating counter-help.

                                                  2. Any and every time that I've booked a catered affair, both as a customer and years ago as a caterer.

                                                    Both what is included in the $$$PP price and the actual $$$PP price are subject to negotiation.

                                                    1. My Starbucks gives away their mistake orders.

                                                      1. Never. I've worked at food service jobs where people tried to do it and I really, really hated that.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: LeoLioness

                                                          +1 - Agree completely.

                                                          Of course there is a difference between some people's experiences (asking a manager for a case discount on wine) and the crap I had to deal with (cheap people trying to buy half a cup of coffee).

                                                          1. A couple months ago, the BF & I were at a flea market; there was a stall with handbags and I was interested in buying a couple but they were $45.00 and I knew they were knock-off's so I didn't want to pay that price but I was willing to buy two if I could get them for $35.00 each. The BF inquired if they would take $35.00; they said no and we walked away...

                                                            We went to a stall that had men & women's cologne; the BF wanted to buy two bottles...those two bottles were $25.00 each but he got them both for $25.00 total. When I got home, I looked up the retail value of the cologne and BF got a good deal. I don't know if it mattered but we got there near the end of the day before they were closing.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. I always ask for the manager in the supermarket or liqour store if I am buying quantity and ask for the 'CASE' discount. It is often granted.
                                                              One of my local chains will not grant that discount, the manager told me that he has been instructed not to do so, as they have a wholesale grocery division. His solution is to ask that I make these quantity buys on Tuesdays and he buries the savings by keyin in the Senior Citizen discount code: 10% on regular price groceries, 5% on sale items. I'm not old enough for the discount and the terms limit quantities, but the manager can override this limitation.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: bagelman01

                                                                I have no problem with this. A valued repeat customer should be treated differently. Even if it is just a smile.

                                                              2. I bargain in any open air market, be it a flea market or farmer's market. Not always, but sometimes, especially if the food at one vendor is significantly more than others. If the stall keeper is Spanish-Speaking or Asian, I am more likely to bargain as I know he/she comes from a culture where it is expected. Bargaining in their language (only possible with Spanish speakers in my case:-) helps a lot. Sometimes even when I don't bargain initially, if the price of the food once its weighed is an odd amount (ie 70 cents) I'll say "how about throwing in a couple of onions for an even buck" (Or something like that....). I have never bargained in a restaurant; its something that would never occur to me....

                                                                1. At the end of a farmers market - the vendors are trying to sell off whatever they can at that point. i take advantage of this and sometimes ask for something 50 cents to a dollar less. most of the time they acquiesce.

                                                                  1. IIRC, the idea of fixed prices for goods was popularized in the USA in the colonial era by Quakers - as part of their testimony of simplicity (another part of that testimony was affirming rather than swearing, for example).

                                                                      1. I get lunch at a local deli/market that caters to Hispanic clients.
                                                                        The posted menu and lunch specials are all in Spanish. They have an amazing steam table with beef, pork and chicken dishes.
                                                                        I watch the Hispanic clients order and what they are paying. I order and always seem to be charged a different price. Sometimes more and sometimes less so I haggle.
                                                                        Two pieces of chicken, rice and beans. "$5" she says. "it was only $4 yesterday?" "OK $4!!" I feel like I am back in Merida and love it.

                                                                        10 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Motosport

                                                                          I go to carnecerias with steam tables all the time and it never occurred to me to haggle. I am always the only white face there, including my wife. I see no need to beat these people out of a dollar We probably are better off than hem, 401k, health insurance etc. These are hard working people, let them keep every dollar they earn. It's not some game where I got it for 4 bucks, I win.

                                                                          1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                            When the Ecuadorian gentleman in front of me gets the same thing for $4 and they ask $5 from me I "haggle." The whole conversation is done with smiles on both sides.
                                                                            I am a regular and I wonder if it's an entertaining game that's being played. I am not "beating"/cheating anyone.
                                                                            Are you assuming I am a "white face" and better off? Why?

                                                                            1. re: Motosport

                                                                              It's obvious you are not Hispanic, and neither am I, color does not matter. Now, you admit sometimes you are charged less, do you offer to give back the difference? Do you see the other customers haggling over prices when they pay more than you did? I am a regular too and the last thing I want to be known as likes to haggle guy. I don't want the two hour old carnitas. I want the fresh ones I and I get them because I'm polite to the staff and can order in Spanish, even if it's not the best, but I can communicate. I've traveled extensively across Mexico by train and bus, plus a few harrowing taxi rides, the one in Durango comes to mind, but it never crossed my mind to bargain for food, in restaurants, street vendors, or small grocery type stores.

                                                                              1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                The gods have blessed you with the good fortune to travel extensively and the ability to pay whatever price you are charged regardless.
                                                                                Live long and prosper.

                                                                                1. re: Motosport

                                                                                  The traveling across Mexico was done on the cheap with a group of fellow college students. We did have a Pullman sleeper on the train over the Sierra Madre Occidental, took some buses and more buses, stayed in Motel 6 type places. On the way back on the train we sat "coach" with the goats, chickens, working folk, and soldiers with automatic weapons. The thing that struck me was how poor the country was, the shoddy housing, poor hygiene at all levels. So now where I live many of the businesses and workers are sending money home, each carneceria has a booth to do it, so I see no need to bargain over a plate of carnitas or asado de puerco. I seriously doubt it is an "entertaining game" as described earlier. I'd bet they just want you to pay for your food without arguing, so they can send the profits home. I've also been to many Texas border towns and bargaining for food and margaritas never crossed my mind, nor did it in Acapulco, Ixtapa, or Mazatlan plus Los Mochis. Maybe I should have haggled for the chicken sandwich on the train on the way back, as this is probably what did in my tummy.

                                                                                  1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                    You seem to want to make this personal. Lo siento, amigo. That's not what CH is all about.

                                                                                    1. re: Motosport

                                                                                      Not at all, just responding to some your thoughts. I'm ready to bury the hatched and call it a day on this one. We just disagree, I'm sure in the future there will be much to agree upon.

                                                                                      1. re: James Cristinian

                                                                                        Referring to my race, skin color and financial condition is VERY personal.

                                                                          2. re: Motosport

                                                                            I know of a paleta stand just like that.

                                                                          3. The only places I'd think it was appropriate to haggle over prices in the US are flea markets and yard sales... and you don't buy food at either. I tend to see baked goods etc as having a fixed production price so their retail is set to reflect that, and if you start asking for discounts you're going to mess with somebody's income. The exception is if you were buying a very large quantity of something you could try to negotiate a bulk discount...

                                                                            I HATE the way you're expected to 'negotiate' the price of things like cars and white goods... they cost X amount to make so it should be Y amount to buy, not A through Z depending on how desperate the salesperson thinks you are...

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: Kajikit

                                                                              Way back in the 19 and 80's I sold stereos on commission. We had customers who would grind you down to the last penny of profit, wouldn't buy the service plan or any needed accessories. Customer two pays full retail, buys the plan and accessories. Then customer one's receiver breaks and he come in wanting a new one, you pull his green receipt and oh yeah, I remember you, go to the service department. Number two same problem plus his turntable is on the fritz too, we'll loan you product until we can fix yours or we replace it. It's not so much that way now, but still is to some degree.

                                                                            2. I don't ever haggle for food and don't find it appropriate to do so in most circumstances.

                                                                              On the subject though, I was recently at an outdoor craft festival that had food booths. One that I visited was very large and pretty much served every deep dish concoction you could ever think of, along with cheese steaks and gyros. I noticed that no prices were listed, but still assumed there were set prices. I asked how much the corn dog was and the guy hesitated, then told me $4. I bought one. I then observed someone after me being charged $5 for one. I suppose this could've been a situation where I could've haggled, had I been so inclined. I kinda wish I had considering how crappy the corn dog turned out to be.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: SaraAshley

                                                                                The other day I was on a walk and passed by a small outdoor craft/art festival. There was no admission fee, so I decided to wander through. There was a sign indicating it was a fundraiser for a local non-profit group. Unfortunately, it obviously wasn't well publicized...as there were almost NO people there. I really had no intention of buying anything, and had little money in my pocket, but I felt very sorry for the food vendors who had obviously paid rental space to be there and weren't going to make any money (Hint to the non-profit: if you are going to do such a festival on a University campus, as this one was, and students are your primary target audience, you might not want to do it right before mid-terms start:-), So I bought a bag of popcorn from one of the vendors, along with a bottle of water. I can always eat popcorn, right? Well, the water was reasonable at a dollar, but I thought the popcorn was a little overpriced at four dollars a bag. And it wasn't ready, even though the vendor promised me it was going to pop "any minute". Well, his any minute turned into five or ten, and he felt badly (I guess the machine just wasn't hot enough yet....) so he offered me a discount from the popcorn I had already purchased. I considered it, but then decided that the poor guy really needed the money....heck, with the lack of crowds he would be lucky to pay his expenses that day.....

                                                                                  1. re: janetofreno

                                                                                    That was very nice of you! The one I was at was super crowded, so I no doubt know that all those food vendors were making a good chunk of change, especially considering what they are charging. The food at these things are always over priced in my experience, but I don't mind paying them if it's at least good food. No such luck this time at the corn dog vendor or the Thai vendor I visited. This festival I was at is located on the streets of a small, historic town with lots of little shops and restaurants. I was very happy that my mom isn't a fan of festival food and we ended up having our lunch at one of the restaurants. It was the only good food I had that day.

                                                                                1. flea markets, antique stores/co-ops, craigslist purchases -- yes. especially because i will pay cash.

                                                                                  we have a local institution here called haymarket that sells super-cheap produce and i will haggle at end of day there, but they just want to get rid of everything anyway.

                                                                                  for many years i worked as a sommelier in one of our city's best restaurants. obviously spendy. there was a millionaire businessman who would constantly try to haggle wine prices with me. it wasn't a question of him not being able to afford it, obviously, and he would do it in front of whichever group he was hosting. i never agreed, so he would just back off and order a cheaper bottle. one night, i finally asked him why he thought this was ok to do since he didn't ever try to do it with the food?

                                                                                  he was flummoxed and yes, i embarrassed him, but he'd done it to me countless times and i'd hit my limit.

                                                                                  the owner called me into her office the next day and said mr. so-and-so was furious. i explained what he had been doing. she was utterly shocked.

                                                                                  he never did it again.

                                                                                  1. Yes, if I'm at a flea market sort of place. At the farmers market, not generally but I will ask for a discount for volume or seconds-looking items. Or at the end of the day.

                                                                                    Never in fixed retail outlets with marked prices. I may ask if there are any special deals or discounts I should know about.

                                                                                    1. Never ever in the US and rarely outside of it.
                                                                                      Now, put me in an international housestuffs or clothing place, and I'll show you how it's done ;)

                                                                                      1. hmmm... Interesting question! I hate the word "haggle," but I am a talented "bargainer," but I can't recall EVER bargaining over food prices in any country I've lived in. BUT! I do have to admit that when I lived in Turkey, my Turkish housekeeper bought ALL of the food because when we first arrived at Incirlik Air Force Base, there was NO commissary, so we had to eat off the economy, and that meant NONE of the shopkeepers in town spoke one word of English back then. So I'm sure Fatma must have bargained for prices.

                                                                                        When we lived in Greece, we most often ate out, though I would cook dinner at "home" (we lived in a hotel with kitchen priveleges) about once a week, and the "farmers market" type produce vendors in the city of Amaliades would make it a special point to have 1 head of romain lettuce for me every Thursday afternoon. I never had or saw iceberg lettuce when I lived in Greece or Turkey.

                                                                                        I've always -- well, almost always -- lived along the Mexican border, and done a lot of shopping in Mexico, but my bargaining there was NEVER over food prices! Always for durable goods actually made in Mexico, such as wrought iron chandeliers and lamps, ollas for cooking, object d'art from different parts of Mexico, and those were purchases at shops in Tijuana, Mexico. I am good enough at bargaining that when bringing things back from Tijuana, I had a U. S. Customs officer at the border crossing ask me if I'd go shopping with him and his wife so they could get my prices! '-) So for anyone who does was to learn to bargain, here are some guidelines... NEVER denigrate the goods you're bargaining for. Tell the shop keeper that you absolutely adore the article, but your pocket book just isn't fat enough to afford it. Works every time! When we lived in Turkey, I DID use this technique in the rugs and antique shops in the Covered Bazaar in Istanbul, and it worked like a charm there too...!

                                                                                        Anyway, it has never occurred to me to bargain over food prices, but... If I'm offered a bargain, hey, I'm there!

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                          Great advice Caroline 1, gee that barbacoa looks great pero, lo siento tengo poquito dinero. Never on food but your bargaining hint is a sure winner on everything else. Thanks for the tip.

                                                                                          1. re: Caroline1

                                                                                            This reminds me: every time we're in India (about every 2 years), I stand out as the tall, ultra-pale American, and I get quoted high prices (even on food and bottled water). Then Indian Mr. Pine comes alongside, and lo and behold, the prices drop. Then he negotiates even more and the ultimate price ends up less than 1/2 of what I originally was quoted.

                                                                                            But in the U.S., I've never even considered haggling on food.

                                                                                          2. I just don't get the idea that the sellers at the farmers' market are just rolling in dough. It seems wrong to me to try to save a few bucks on my fancy kale at their expense.

                                                                                            I can imagine asking IF there is a discount on a case of wine, maybe, but not haggling.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Allieroseww

                                                                                              The farmers market where I live has a back outdoors section with Mexican vendors. The prices on food is less the farther you walk. Never has it occurred to have the folks in front price match the avacados, elotes, and tomatoes the ones in the rear sell. The best deals are in back for those willing to walk as well as a killer taco truck and coco fritos.

                                                                                            2. once at my old green grocer in DC (Calomiri's) I asked about fresh basil and they brought out a bouquet the size of a floral arrangement worthy of the old Lespinasse in NYC.

                                                                                              I haggled with Maria about the size, not the price, as I knew I'd never have the time to properly reduce and freeze it in a few days and maybe they could sell the rest to someone else. I hate waste. especially something as dear to me as fresh basil.

                                                                                              yeah in hindsight I should have just bought the whole shrub, baggied it with no prep and had plenty for sauces all Winter and if it got lost behind all the other odds and ends in there, so be it.

                                                                                              1. At a comic con for a Silver Surfer bust that was the "It" item that year. It wasn't for me, but for a friend who was too busy working a table to go shopping. Apparently cash is king on the last day of any convention.

                                                                                                Another year for a few gallons of raw apple cider for brewing. Instead of $5 a gallon, I got it for $4 or something like that. But again I hit them up right before they packed up. I tried to do it the next year and a coworker was buddies with them and kept telling them all weekend how much I liked their cider and I would be around to pick up a few gallons... my game was up and no discount that year.

                                                                                                1. My general rule is to haggle where it's expected - so at flea markets, sure, but I can't imagine haggling over food. I've had farmers at the markets suggest I take an extra peach to make it an even dollar, and I'm happy to do so, and I'm happy to dig through seconds bins. I've also been annoyed to pay a certain premium only to see the fruit is bruised or another vendor is selling it cheaper, but that's on me for not doing my due diligence.

                                                                                                  As someone who works in an industry in which there is great variance in prices, I get haggled with on a daily basis - and it irks me. I set my prices because they are what the market can bear and what I can afford in order to make a profit and pay my people. When people nickel and dime me down, I'm annoyed. It takes time out of my day when it should be a simple transaction, stresses me out because I need to run a bunch of numbers in my head very quickly to determine my profit ratio vs the effort this is taking, and makes me a little annoyed whenever I interact with that client again because I think of them as a headache client. From their perspective, they got a good deal when there was no advertised special; from mine, I may need to readjust my budgeting for the whole quarter to offset the unexpected discounts. Granted, I work with larger amounts than a $2 kale, but I sympathize with the sellers and l leave their prices alone. If I don't like them, I don't buy them.

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: thursday

                                                                                                    I give preferential treatment to customers over haggler no matter what. I don't care if you came from a haggling culture, I simply will not: save you items, go out of my way to look for items for you, extend you a line of credit, or lend you money (some customer forget to bring cash or not enough and I will lend them money, but this only applies to my best customers).

                                                                                                  2. I guess that for the most part, the US lacks a good haggling culture.

                                                                                                    On the other hand, things are probably different in terms as to what is customary when it comes to dining at a fine-dining restaurant versus negotiating with vendors selling perishable goods at a market near closing time.

                                                                                                    1. My father use to ask for a bakers dozen whenever the price of an item was by the dozen. Not really haggling, but still asking for a discount.

                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                      1. re: viperlush


                                                                                                        I don't mean to quibble, and please don't take this the wrong way viperlush, but I am genuinely curious as to what you consider the difference between haggling on the one hand and asking for a discount on the other?

                                                                                                        1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                          In this case I would say (in my best Yiddish accent):
                                                                                                          "What, no bakers dozen?" is not haggling but asking for a small discount in a pleasant respectful way.
                                                                                                          "I'll give you $2 for that sammich and that's my last offer!" is definitely haggling.

                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                            I see haggling needing a back and forth between the buyer and seller. Based on the Websters definition of haggle (to talk or argue with someone especially in order to agree on a price). By just asking for a discount, and receiving it there is no back and forth. Not every discount is the result of haggling, but every successful haggling results in a discount.

                                                                                                            1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                              In some cultures/countries "haggling" is an art and a way of life and is actually expected. It's a friendly respectful way of doing business. Not typical for food in the USA.
                                                                                                              Vendors are sometimes disappointed when a customer picks up and item and pays the initial price.
                                                                                                              There are some rules to a successful negotiating. NEVER criticize the quality of the product and ALWAYS be pleasant, polite and smile.

                                                                                                              1. re: Motosport

                                                                                                                Moto - "I like it I really do, but can get one ALMOST as good down the street for a lot less"

                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                  Reminds me of my brother in law who won't get a lobster roll from Red's Eats in Maine, which are fantastic, but there is usually a short line.
                                                                                                                  According to BIL: "I go across the road. They are not nearly as good but there's no line."
                                                                                                                  Welcome to Maine!!

                                                                                                          2. re: viperlush

                                                                                                            you do know the strict definition (and stricter penalty) that gave rise to the 'baker's dozen' right?

                                                                                                              1. re: sydthekyd

                                                                                                                syd - in England during the middle ages when few homes had an oven and every village had a central one, selling a 'dozen' rolls that was less than 12 was punishable by removal of the baker's hand, so it became habit/custom for a 'baker's dozen' to contain at least 13. hey an extra bit of flour and water baked and given away vs. an amputation... hmmm if I were the baker I think know how I'd work that ROI formula!

                                                                                                                1. re: hill food

                                                                                                                  It was by weight, not number, but yeah pretty strict stuff!

                                                                                                          3. What I'm trying to understand from this thread . . . . .

                                                                                                            There are several posters on this thread who say they haggle regularly, even at restaurants. Okay fine . . .

                                                                                                            But if memory serves (I don't have the energy to really troll through old threads to confirm, so it is just memory), some of these same posters in the past have chastised other posters when they complain that restaurant prices have gotten too high and the food isn't worth it. Or have suggested that they would never tip below 15%, even if the service was really bad.

                                                                                                            But . . .they feel it necessary to haggle everywhere, even at restaurants?

                                                                                                            For anyone willing to cop to this dichotomy, why would it be wrong to tip "low" for bad service or complain about todays food costs when eating out but perfectly justifiable to haggle about a price at an ethnic eatery?

                                                                                                            12 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: thimes

                                                                                                              By silently refusing to buy a good or product because you believe the price too high and by going elsewhere, you are haggling. Just a more passive-aggressive approach.

                                                                                                              1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                Huh? I'd stretch the definition of "haggling" if you tried to bargain, were rebuffed and you chose not to make the purchase.

                                                                                                                I'm not "haggling" with Alinea or French Laundry because I don't want to drop half a grand for dinner.

                                                                                                                1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                  Funny story: We had a client who would look at an item, pick it up and ask for the price. No matter what it was or the price he would whistle (sort of a WOW! whistle)
                                                                                                                  There were times when we would watch him and try to whistle along with him. It was pretty funny and we, client included, all got a good laugh.
                                                                                                                  A passive aggressive whistler!

                                                                                                                  1. re: Leonardo

                                                                                                                    double huh?

                                                                                                                    i don't think you know what haggling means. it takes two, not just somebody choosing to shop elsewhere for a better deal.

                                                                                                                  2. re: thimes

                                                                                                                    For anyone willing to cop to this dichotomy, why would it be wrong to tip "low" for bad service or complain about todays food costs when eating out but perfectly justifiable to haggle about a price at an ethnic eatery?

                                                                                                                    thimes, I don't mean to be argumentative, but I am a bit confused.

                                                                                                                    I don't see the dichotomy you are referring to in the quoted passage above.

                                                                                                                    Let's take tipping as an example. A person can hold these two positions without being inconsistent: (1) always tip at least X% and (2) haggling is always acceptable at restaurants.

                                                                                                                    I don't see the dichotomy there? Am I missing something?

                                                                                                                    For example, I can go eat at Joe's Burger, try and negotiate my bill with the manager or owner, get a certain final price for my tab, and then tip the server X% based on that final price.

                                                                                                                    How is doing those two things conterminously inconsistent?

                                                                                                                    Again, not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand your position.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                      don't know if "you" do this? but if you get a discounted restaurant meal you don't tip on what the bill would have been? people like that are why so many servers are bitter.

                                                                                                                      1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                        We take advantage of 2 for 1 and coupons at our favorite restaurants. We always tip based on what the normal bill would have been. The server does the same work.
                                                                                                                        At one of our regular places our favorite server refuses to work on 2 for 1 Mondays because most patrons base the tip on the half price meal.

                                                                                                                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                                                                                                                          Well, ok, so you can still tip pre-negotiated price. How does that run counter to haggling or negotiating?

                                                                                                                          1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                            if something disastrous happened during my meal and an item is being comped, that's not haggling. i would never haggle for a restaurant meal. not. ever.

                                                                                                                            eta: i also have never asked that an item be taken off my bill, having always allowed for a manager's discretion to "do the right thing."

                                                                                                                        2. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                          Like I said I'm just going off memory of past threads . . . so not argumentative on either side.

                                                                                                                          I recall a few threads when people felt that restaurant prices were getting too high for what was being served. There was a contingent of those responses that essentially defended restaurant prices because of all the overhead costs, etc, etc, and some who essentially insinuated (again, as I recall) that those who were upset about those prices should stick to buffets or Applebees (why everyone always uses Applebees as an example I never understand) or they just didn't appreciate the experience of a restaurant. (Again as I recall)

                                                                                                                          So to hear someone making that argument but then say they routinely negotiate restaurant prices is a dichotomy to me. "I think restaurant prices are just and people who complain are . . . complainers" vs "I don't feel I should pay the listed price so I will negotiate the price"

                                                                                                                          The same essentially with tipping (clearly a hot button topic on here, so let's just use it as a broad sweeping example). There are arguments routinely made that some don't really adjust their tip very much, even if the service isn't great - often because of sympathy for the service industry. So essentially the service industry is given a "pass" even for subpar service . . . but. . . . on the other side, someone providing quality product is open for haggling.

                                                                                                                          So there is some behind the scenes logic (which I'm trying to understand) by which some decide "person/situation A" is fair game for a haggle but "person/situation B" is not fair game.

                                                                                                                          That is what I find confusing and can't quite wrap my head around.

                                                                                                                          For example, what about a chinese restaurant makes it a particular target for haggling (as called out in the original post)?

                                                                                                                          1. re: thimes

                                                                                                                            For example, what about a chinese restaurant makes it a particular target for haggling (as called out in the original post)?

                                                                                                                            Cultural, societal and/or ethnic norms and expectations.

                                                                                                                            That's why I posted the thread -- i.e., to figure out the situations where people do haggle (or bargain or negotiate or whatever).

                                                                                                                            1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                                                                              that is what I find interesting to your post - I hardly think it is the cultural, societal or ethnic norm and expectation to haggle over food prices in the US (your original framework). So you see a chinese person and just figure . . . I should haggle with them, no matter where they are in the world. Even when they know that it isn't the norm to do so in the US?

                                                                                                                              And while I'm certainly no expert in Chinese culture, I have been several times and I can't think of one time when any of my hosts/translators/etc haggled in a restaurant. So I'm not really sure it is the norm for them either.

                                                                                                                      2. Almost never. Perhaps if I'm at a whole sale kind of outlet buying wine by the case, or other high volume of food, I might ask for a discount. But that's just me.

                                                                                                                        1. A long time ago, a good friend and I would sit near the taps at a local bar that was always very busy and invariably when a group of four or six or so would enter, the one guy would belly up to the bar and order a beer THEN turn and ask his girlfriend and the others what they'd like. The bartender was always busy and didn't have time for this crap. The girl would not usually know what she wanted and she'd order a Coors light or some shit. The bartender would already be pouring the first beer and her Coors light, when the others were yelling out their drink orders. "OH! I'd like Sex on the Beach" she'd realize after the beer was being poured. After we became regulars, and "haggled" with the bartender over what happens to those beers, those Coors lights were no longer poured down the drain, and my friend and I were quite happy with a free beer or whatever was a "mistake".

                                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                                          1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                            I don't get it: the people would order beer, then change their minds?

                                                                                                                            1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                              yep. all the time. and this is AFTER it was poured. i've seen it, and drank it, many, many times. and not only beer, but mixed drinks and anything really.

                                                                                                                              a bit of advice to anyone going out drinking with a friend or a group of friends. if the bar is busy, get everyone to KNOW what they WANT long BEFORE getting the attention of a busy bartender. you will get MUCH better service. ;-)

                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                customer 101. seriously.

                                                                                                                                it's like people have never been to a bar before!

                                                                                                                          2. Funny you should ask. I'm not a good haggler, but I was just at a local swap meet with mostly Mexican vendors and customers, and a woman struck up a conversation to ask me about squash blossom preparation that ended in her telling me I should always bargain, that she never used to bargain, but then would feel foolish not bargaining when everyone else in her family did.

                                                                                                                            I bought three delicious mangoes the size of a child's head for a dollar. It blows my mind a little bit to think of paying even less, but I just might try haggling for shits and giggles next time. ('Course the *sucka* stamp on my forehead probably won't help much.)

                                                                                                                            1. There's a certain neighborhood about a 40 minute drive away from my home that has many restaurants up for sale. I asked a few of the owners why they are selling as it seems that none of them are empty and some very busy.
                                                                                                                              The general answer from ALL of them, for example, "6 people walk in order 6 entrees, soft drinks, etc." as soon as they are served, before they touch the food, they say to the waitperson, "Give us 50% off this meal or we walk out." , the owners are now faced with either throwing them out and what to do with these dishes, or take 50% and collect their losses. This is not an isolated incident, this is Ubiquitous in this neighborhood. Every place I've talked to the manager or owner I get the same answer.

                                                                                                                              9 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                I've never heard such a complaint before, makes me think it's the same six people possibly? And if so, I would be dreaming of some kind of retribution myself, rather than giving up. Maybe they should all have a meeting of some sort and figure it out.

                                                                                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                                                                                  It's not the same 6 people I understand. It's a neighborhood thing, I guess. The same stories of the same thing from each restaurant owner, whether a sit down deli place or a dinner restaurant, and each one with a twist to it. They tell me they cannot do business in this neighborhood because of this reason. It is apparently quite common for many people to do this around there. Sad.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                    Guess the neighborhood people better sign up for cooking lessons then. "No food for you!"

                                                                                                                                2. re: Gastronomos

                                                                                                                                  The solution to that problem is a good quality security camera and a manager willing to make a police complaint.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                    i'd call the cops too. that's the dining equivalent of a shake-down.

                                                                                                                                    astonishing it's happening all over, is driving multiple locations out of business and nobody is trying to fix this?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                                                      Or just collect payment before serving the food.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: viperlush

                                                                                                                                        viper - yeah if it's that rough and commonplace a practice, they need to become an order-and-pay at the counter and we'll bring it to you type of operation. screws the waitstaff's tips, but these either weren't big tippers anyway and if the place closes, 15% of 0 is ummm, not good.

                                                                                                                                        or calculate how many of these meals they can give away vs. throw away. I'd want to say "fine - walk" thinking well my staff eats well tonight. hopefully word would get around. or maybe hire some thugs for the door (everybody has a scary-looking cousin who's actually a sweetheart who can use some side work).

                                                                                                                                      1. re: sydthekyd

                                                                                                                                        this neighborhood is in western Long Island New York, just over the queens, New York City border.

                                                                                                                                    2. i pay retail because i like to buy the best quality food in small quantities.
                                                                                                                                      in my experience, haggling is for large quantities of food and/or lower quality of food.

                                                                                                                                      1. I've never done it with food, and have not done it with much else.

                                                                                                                                        Trying not to be judgmental here, but I do think its a little tacky to try to haggle at a place like starbucks. I worked for a similar establishment eons ago and people would try to do this. But the reality is that we were highly discouraged from giving discounts, but some people could be so damn persistent. Sometimes we would take the money out of our tips. I don't know...I would just feel bad causing a worker like that stress just to save 50 cents.

                                                                                                                                        1. No, and I'd probably pay the balance if someone I was with actually managed to haggle food prices down with a vendor.

                                                                                                                                          1. Yesterday I spent some time in the Little India section of a nearby town. I love shopping there, I love the Indian lady who hugs me after selling me 6 yards of silk, I love the smells in the street, the produce and spice markets, the sweet shops and the energy. Indians smile to each other in greeting and to strangers (like me) on the street. I always leave Little India/NJ happy.

                                                                                                                                            But I always find myself engaged in haggling. Even if I'm happy with the price! Something about the conversation that ensues prompts a haggle. The Indian people make it fun. So I play along.

                                                                                                                                            Yesterday I bought a pound of sweets from this beautiful display case filled with ladoo, barfi and roti. I enjoyed a mango lassi on the drive home and my car was filled with raw spices, rose water, raw nuts and fresh paneer. Haggle, all.

                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                            1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                              That's a very interesting, and good, point about that cultural exchange and connection you make as part of the haggling process.

                                                                                                                                            2. I cannot remember ever having done so.


                                                                                                                                              1. I have not done so over food prices, but have twice done so successfully over wine prices. One time when the price of the wine I wanted was 6x what I had recently paid retail for it...the restaurant significantly reduced the price for me. The second time was when I was having a simple meal (hamburgers and fries) at a very casual restaurant and their least expensive red wine was $50! I spoke to a manager and said that I was surprised that they had nothing less expensive. He brought over a bottle that was ~$55 on the list, and charged me $30, acknowledging that they should have a few less expensive wines on their list.