28 Apr

Would you like some fries with that?

When it comes to restaurants, apparently you have to bug the living piss out of the employees before you start implying anything. The latest comes in a recent visit to Sbarro.

First off, I knew that something was gonna go down, because my view of them has been: Expensive and Average. (oh, and the fact that they are in bankruptcy protection) What do I mean by that?

As I approached the counter to check out the selection of pizza, the employee behind the counter was giving out samples of their breadsticks and their garlic dipping sauce. I proceeded to try it. Yum, not bad. The man told me, you can get a slice of pizza, two breadsticks and a drink.

After selecting the pizza, he put two breadsticks on the tray, started some small talk, and asked me, and I quote:

"And would you like marinara or garlic dipping sauce with the breadsticks?"

Naturally, after having just sampled the garlic sauce, I chose that.

More fast small talk, and after having selected Pepsi as my drink, he rang up the total.

"That'll be $8.98"

My thoughts at that time were: $8.98? Holy crap. One piece of pizza and some breadsticks and pop? Seemed expensive. Really, $8.98? Hmm, wow, ok, well... uh, all right, I guess. Geez (adding up rounded estimates of all components in my head). How do you get to almost 9 bucks?

The receipt didn't print. He asked me if I needed the receipt. Too coincidental in this situation? Who knows, and who the hell cares -- I'm stymied. I requested the receipt be reprinted. I quickly found out the cause -- they charged me for the garlic dipping sauce!

Ok, back that ship up... now I think I see why you're the fast-talking used car salesman type... if you come across as all nice and whatnot, you can get almost anything by any customer.

What you can't tell in this blog is exactly how the individual asked me about the sauce. It wasn't the "Would you like to buy?" type of voice, where the pitch of the voice goes from softer to louder. Rather, it went from higher to lower... you know, the implied tone of voice... the "You get either, which one would you like?" type of voice.

And what sucks is that by the time I saw that they charged me for the sauce, I had already paid the bill. I wasn't going to be "that guy" to have a fit with the other couple of people that were in line with their food getting cold. So I bit the bullet.

This type of behavior of implying something is included when really we'll charge you for it, really pisses me off. A couple of other places it has happened:

  1. Jimmy Johns, when asked if you want cheese, watch how gleefully they put that extra charge on your bill. Oh, Mr. Employee, you think that's funny? See how funny it is when I tell you to remove it and then I mock you for charging me for it. (yes, that has happened) Then, watch me put on my "schizo face" when I correct myself and say I want cheese, and then when you recharge me for it, I tell you that I change my mind.
  2. Champps, when they ask you if you want seasoned sour cream with the waffle fries, they really mean "Would you like me to charge you $9.99 for it?" (ok, it's really not that expensive, but for what you get, it is)

It seems like this is specifically a restaurant thing. I mean, it's to the point where I have to basically put the brakes on every restaurant conversation and request clarification on every question. Ultimately, I blame myself for thinking Sbarro would give you ANYTHING without charging you for it. If I do go back and they pull that stunt again, you can rest assured I will respond with a "Hell no, you charged me for it last time I was here, even though you worded and sounded like the sauce came with it already" in about the loudest voice possible.

Categories: Gripe