Posted by Jennifer Heigl
Author Frank Bruni has a great post today on his New York Times blog, Diner’s Journal, commenting on the recent move of many restaurants to begin charging for their ‘extras’, namely the standard bread and butter.
It seems many diners have a problem with being charged for items that were previously complimentary, so Bruni tries to take an alternate view, suggesting that more restaurants charge for bread and other assortments. He offers that perhaps, with charging for such items, you’d receive a higher quality of item, rather than the kitchen leftovers. He refers to the bread and butter starter listed on the Momofuku Ssam menu:
Here’s it’s $8 for those people who really care about bread and butter and are really planning on eating this bread and butter. Everyone else can simply move on to the next menu item.
I wholeheartedly agree with his assessment of many restaurant visitors who would rather pay for the bread and butter (and other complimentary items) when they wanted it, rather than having bread service included in the entree prices.
Moreso, the reason restaurants are needing to charge for such items is certainly because the lack of overall menu sales. By reducing pricing on main menu items, and eliminating the ‘free’ stuff, restaurants will inevitably save more money at the bottom line. I say absolutely!