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Oct 21, 2013 05:20 PM

What do you think about restaurants charging for bread and butter at dinner?

Don't want to mention the name because the dinner was swell but they charged $3 for bread and butter.
I ordered escargot and didn't even think about the bread.
The snails came and they were nice but there was no bread served with them to sop up the sauce.
Poo on that.

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  1. Hi, Jay:

    I think they might as well charge rental on the tableware while they're at it. Napkin surcharge? Salt and pepper don't buy themselves, ya know...

    PLEASE name names.


    2 Replies
    1. re: kaleokahu

      Yup. If your having 'snax N drinks' - you can choose to make my bread be an order.... if I am having dinner? - NOT so much.

      Figure in the price allready for bread, if I am having dinner.

      1. re: kaleokahu

        Stop me if I'm wrong, and I know that in the US a "cover" charge is a fixed fee, as a nightclub, but t didn't this term originate with "le couvert", basic charge in a restaurant for use of dishes, cutlery, glassware, linens, plus bits of food set out, like bread, pickles, olives, salt, oil? More common in other countries, I think.

      2. I don't like it. My boydriend andvI go out to eat a lot. He works very hard so by the time we arrive at a restaurant for dinner, he's starving. He'slways grateful for the bread and butter and usually asks fr more. We've lways been gives as much as he likes with no charge. Its not that either of us is cheap. We spend quitca bit on our meals. Bt I think its nice and try to find places that offer it. Wecalso like when they offer complimentary appetizers as well. Like pickkes, olives, small salads etc. I don't find that they ruin our appetires at all, and we tend to order more from the menu when bread etc is offered first.

        1. But it's SPECIAL bread and/or SPECIAL butter (or oil, or whatever)...TheTom Douglas empire does it, for starters, but it's becoming pretty common.

          1. If bread it not complimentary, it should be noted on the menu.
            At Zabars in NYC, the menu clearly states that a bread basket is $12, unless entrees are ordered.

            It's nice when bread/butter/olive oil are placed at the table. But when it has no place in the type of food offered, I understand the restaurant charging. (Like at a Chinese or Japanese restaurant)

            3 Replies
            1. re: cheesecake17

              French "bistro" food for the place in question.

              1. re: JayDK

                Well Jay, that is a crime against France (Viva La France!), since the baguette is a national symbol, and no Frenchperson would not eat dinner without crumbs on the table.

                Perhaps a bobo would skip it in a trendy-chic place in the Maraise, but any real french bistro here better bust out the bread. Or, perhaps, all the Frenchie natives who live here are wrecking their food cost with over-consumption of free baked grain?

                Hmmmnn.... give a hint who you are impugning....

                1. re: JayDK

                  I would expect bread.
                  But with all the low carb/pales/GF people...maybe it wasn't eaten? Even so...The waiter could ask if you'd like bread or the menu could say "complimentary bread basket upon request"

              2. From a business perspective I understand,

                For instance, "If we charge 'em for bread and they pay for it, why give it away?"

                1 Reply
                1. re: JayDK

                  Well, I do not think of it as a "give away," but part of my total meal.

                  OTOH, with airlines charging for everything, I am not surprised that some restaurants are doing the same.

                  I just expect those costs (and they ARE costs) to be factored into my meal.

                  I guess that I had better gird my loins, for the next time that I order a few glasses of wine, at the bar, and "snacks" are served - "Oh, you ate 6 peanuts, one pretzel piece, and four cheese crackers... That will be an additional $ 1.75, added to the cost of your wines."

                  Suppose that the time is coming?