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Need to vent quickly.. new HUGE pet peeve Restaurant week only menus

Sorry folks but i need to vent on my new #1 pet peeve-- restaurant week menus.

Wifey and I went out for a date night to one of our favorite restaurants. Turns out it was restaurant week (no problem), however the resturant would ONLY be serving its restaurant week menu. We didnt see anything we liked there since we go for the robota (which was not on the restaurant week menu).

Then we went to another restaurant a few days later and the same thing happened again.

Now I am not against restaurant week per say (i try to avoid it, but hey to each his own). What I have an issue with is restaurants not offering their full menu and not informing guest when they make a reservation.

Am I out of line here? For situations like mine, all the restuarant is doing is upsetting a loyal customer and leaving a table open during prime time.

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  1. Yes, a HUGE pet peeve.

    1. Yes, it is a pet peeve of mine too but I understand the reasoning behind it and cut the place some slack. The vast majority of diners during restaurant week will probably pick something being offered as the restaurant week special. If the restaurant preps for the entire menu only to throw most of it away because it goes unordered, their bottom line suffers greatly. I tend to either plan to order off the restaurant week menu or stay away that week. If I'm not interested in the restaurant week menu, I've had great luck with places not participating as they're not nearly as busy as they are on normal weeks.

      1. I think they should inform people when they make a reservation. Like bobbert says, prepping the usual only to throw it away would be pointless, so I guess it's best to ask what's on the restaurant week menu.

        1. I agree with you.

          But after you got burned once, didn't you ask the second restaurant when you confirmed your reservation?

          1 Reply
          1. re: nosh

            2nd restaurant was in a different city. I didnt know when their restaurant week was.

          2. This is not one of life's greatest problems. In my opinion, it barely registers on the problem meter at all. Some people can't afford to go to any restaurant any time. That's a problem.

            6 Replies
            1. re: GH1618

              I guess I understand your reply, but if that's the case 2/3ds of Chow would shut down because we shouldn't be complaining about restaurants.

              1. re: PattiCakes

                I guess I understand your reply, ....

                That makes one of us.

              2. re: GH1618

                What topics on Chowhound classify as "one of life's greatest problems", exactly?

                  1. re: kpaxonite

                    I'm waiting for the thread "If I'm a guest in a dear friend's home and whether I brought a gift or not, how much do I tip the host and based on what %?"

                1. Restaurant Week is amateur hour.

                  Best just to avoid any restaurant that is participating in Restaurant Week, regardless of the menu offerings.

                  It's like visiting a florist on Valentines Day, or shopping on Black Friday, or camping in Yosemite valley in July.


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    or a rural Walmart on any Sunday around 1 PM

                    1. re: hill food

                      or a rural Walmart on any Sunday around 1 PM

                      .... following a Friday payday!

                    2. re: ipsedixit

                      I have camped in Yosemite in July, you just have to know where to go...(the RV camp in the Valley = NO 20 mile hike from Tuolumne Meadows to Young Lakes = yes)

                    3. It is a lot more work to run two menus at the same time. It is also a waste of food as most people order the cheaper option. The increased number of patrons make it difficult enough to keep up with the special prep let alone regular menu.

                      Don't eat out that week and cut the restaurant staff slack. They work even longer hours during these weeks with no overtime.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: TeRReT

                        my issue is not with them running a restaurant week menu. If they want to lose $$ for a week to try to drum up new business, more power to them.

                        my issue is that they dont inform patrons who make reservations about it. For me, that is the antithesis of good customer service.

                        Imagine that you made a reservation at Mortons or another famous steakhouse. But when you sat down, you were told that they were not serving steak that night.

                        1. re: DukeFan

                          It's always best to inquire. They probably assume that the majority of people making a res during RW want the RW week menu, and that most regulars take that week off. I know I do.

                          1. re: DukeFan

                            I had that happen on Thanksgiving at Silver Fox in Dallas in 2006. After running a 10K dreaming about the medium rare ribeye and potato, I was "informed" that due to the holiday they were only serving a prefixe menu with three choices. Roasted turkey, salmon, or sirloin with mashed potatoes and corn. I was not happy and they told me that heir website informed you of the limited menu. Well I didn't make a reservation on the web, I called and talked to their hostess. Our entire group of 10 was not happy and I haven't been back. And won't be back. What steakhouse doesn't fix steak....(sorry a medium well precook sirloin is not steak).

                        2. What city are you in where the regular menu is not available during RW? In NYC, the regular menu is avilable. The RW menu is usually some discount non-regular menu list of 3 things that have been developed to minimize the cost.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: Bkeats

                            it varies by the restaurant really, there are no hard and fast rules.

                            1. re: Bkeats

                              its happened in Minneapolis, Charlottesville and Seattle

                              1. re: DukeFan

                                it's crap customer service and crappier public relations that you were not informed when you made the reservation. did you reserve over the phone or via opentable? if the former, the phone person most certainly should have told you. cannot believe this has happened to you in 3 different cities.

                            2. as far as i know, none of the restaurants in los angeles that are offering restaurant week menus have stopped serving their regular menu.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: westsidegal

                                There are actually a few in a LA that only do a RW menu. Black Hogg is one that comes immediately to mind.

                                1. re: ipsedixit

                                  out of my geographical boundaries.
                                  ya know, the edge of the earth is located somewhere between la cienega and la brea. . . .

                                  it's sort of like telling me about what goes on in the international space station--fascinating, but very far away.

                              2. Not as annoying as someone calling their wife "wifey " or being a duke fan but pretty annoying....