A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

The "Split Plate" Charge

This falls squarely into the, "no wonder people have a hard time maintaining healthy body weight" category...

I have blogged before about my frustration with restaurants who charge me more money for ordering less food or less highly caloric food.  For example at breakfast last weekend I asked for my omelet to be made with egg beaters instead of real eggs, and that they hold both the cheese and toast.  They charged me a dollar more for the egg beaters and gave me zero money back for letting them save about four or five ounces of cheese, two slices of bread, butter and jam.  I saved about four or five hundred calories and paid $1.50 more for the privilege.  If you attempt to do something like order tomato slices or fruit in place of oily hash browns that can be anywhere from another $1.50 to around $4.00 charge, so I usually skip a fruit side dish and just eat an apple when I’m home.

A number of restaurants these days are catering to those of us who want to eat healthier, such as Seasons 52 and Harvest Seasonal Grille – which boast unique menus with a large number of entrees that fall under the appropriately sized 500 calorie mark for a meal.  They also specialize in fresh, locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, and as a bonus are quite delicious.  Fresh food is pricey, so even though your dining experience at such a restaurant will be quite healthful it still costs a lot less money to eat a fatty cheeseburger and fries.

On average, restaurant portions of food are between two and three times larger than necessary for a meal.  Knowing this, I very deliberately cut a lot of my meals in half before I even begin eating them.  Since my husband and I tend to order very different meals in restaurants (he doesn’t go in for this “hold the butter” and “hold the cheese” nonsense that I tend to pull) so it’s never really occurred to me to just order one meal for two people.  For this reason, until recently I didn’t truly know what a split plate charge was.

Apparently if two people go into a restaurant and order a single meal for the pair of them, many restaurants will tack on an extra five dollars or so for serving a single plate of food to two people.

So, let me get this straight… they bring one meal, they save the entire cost of ingredients, labor and energy consumption utilized in making another meal, and they get to charge more money for the one they did provide – simply because there happens to be two bodies sitting at the table?

Can anyone explain why this is an acceptable and commonplace practice?  I’m just not getting it.

And is this kind of bass-ackward business practice contributing to why so many restaurants go under and close down within a year or two of opening?

Makes a good argument for restaurants that serve the entire menu a la carte.

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