Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Underhanded charges at Corner House


stephietoronto
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been to Corner House a few times before, including Winterlicious, and had great experiences. It's my 4th time going back. However this time, it would probably be the last. Food was still good, but here's what happened. This was the first occasion where we did not order any wine. Plus the upstairs room was kind of cold, and my bf was just getting over a cold, so we both asked for hot water. We shared an appetizer, each had 1 main (steak and rack of lamb), and ordered 1 dessert to share. We were both stuffed and couldn't have ate more.

When the bill came, they charged us 2 hot teas, $5, and $3 for the spliting of the appetizer. Now that is spare changed in comparison to the $32 mains we both had. I am not bothered because the bill came to $7 extra, but the principle of it. It really bothered me that they did not say anything or try to charge for hot water which is normally free at most restaurants. Just charge me more for my mains or raise the menu prices, if you feel you need to make more money. When I asked about the hot tea, saying we just had hot water and perhaps the waiter made a mistake, they came back with a "fixed" bill that literally said 2 HOT H2O service, $4 (so hot water with lemon apparently costs $2 each). I cannot believe that. It wasn't the amount, as we were not there on a budget. It was the audacity to charge for what would be normal service that is expected at any restaurant, and without a word beforehand. Should that not be what the tip is for? Simple water service that should come with any meal at ANY restaurant?

We tipped them well as normal, and bid the place audieu. I am not sure if management changed or whatever the reason was for this, but I don't like the way they work, and I will not be going back.

Food was solid as usual, nothing to complain about in that department.

Bios Fitness trainer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know why you paid for it...if a restaurant tried to charge me for hot water (My mom often likes hot water and a squeeze of lemon) I would laugh ask to speak to the manager, and if he was stupid enough to insist those charges are legit, I would simply remove all those charges from their tip.

I'm surprised you let them get away with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know why you paid for it...if a restaurant tried to charge me for hot water (My mom often likes hot water and a squeeze of lemon) I would laugh ask to speak to the manager, and if he was stupid enough to insist those charges are legit, I would simply remove all those charges from their tip.

I'm surprised you let them get away with it.

Me too. I would have NEVER paid for that. I mean, really do they charge you for cold tap water? Why should you pay just because its HOT.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know why you paid for it...if a restaurant tried to charge me for hot water (My mom often likes hot water and a squeeze of lemon) I would laugh ask to speak to the manager, and if he was stupid enough to insist those charges are legit, I would simply remove all those charges from their tip.

I'm surprised you let them get away with it.

Wouldn't you be penalizing the server for policy they have little control over?

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you weren't advised of the charges then why not penalize the server who should have been smart enough to let you know?

On the other hand, I'm not so upset with the charges AS LONG AS NOTIFIED. There's additional work, cleaning (and potential breakage) involved in making adjustments. Either the restaurant can take the 'hidden' approach and charge EVERYBODY more for the food, or it might make sense to charge for additional provisions as they occur.

And I'm sensitive to this issue as AmuseGirl does not drink coffee or tea - only hot water (no lemon or other inserts). Most places don't charge - almost the only places that do are low-end (e.g diners) - even fast food places don't charge. She gets the same satisfaction from the water as I do from coffee, so we don't let it upset us - why spoil the mood of the evening for $5 (or less).

Now, what REALLY upsets me is the recitation of daily specials WITHOUT prices. After a bad experience once where the special was more than double the cost of the highest price menu item, I now ALWAYS ask immediately. And at one place, after the third item in a row was still not attached to prices I was told that "most people prefer not to be told the prices". No I've never been back to that place either!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that you mention it I guess the server is as responsible as the management. One of the roles of a server should be diplomat and advocate between customer, management and kitchen.

And yes not taking that off your bill is management screaming don't come back. Loosing a patron over hot water seems absurd. Wonder what they charge for ice.

"And in the meantime, listen to your appetite and play with your food."

Alton Brown, Good Eats

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you speak to a manager about this charge? Maybe it was just the waiter trying to get the cheque higher. If I ever have a problem in a restaurant I much prefer to talk to a manager about it to see how they will solve my complaint. Then if I still feel that they didn't follow through I will post negative comments on the internet. As for charges in splitting an appetizer... it totally makes sense. Usually there is more garnish added and is also made to look a little larger, sometimes splits just look plain silly. There is also the added cost in the dish pit for extra plates. Honest, hard working restauranteurs don't always deserve the negativity that anonymous posts can generate. My 2 cents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you speak to a manager about this charge? Maybe it was just the waiter trying to get the cheque higher. If I ever have a problem in a restaurant I much prefer to talk to a manager about it to see how they will solve my complaint. Then if I still feel that they didn't follow through I will post negative comments on the internet. As for charges in splitting an appetizer... it totally makes sense. Usually there is more garnish added and is also made to look a little larger, sometimes splits just look plain silly. There is also the added cost in the dish pit for extra plates. Honest, hard working restauranteurs don't always deserve the negativity that anonymous posts can generate. My 2 cents.

Hi, I did write them a note on my thoughts, and they have not written back with any explanation. I understand the splitting cost, I'm more aghast at charging for water! But even the splitting cost it should be mentioned at the point when you order too. At some restaurants, they charge for substitutions (e.g. changing the type of sauce, meat or pasta), but the waiter usually say at that point about this charge. That would be fine with me.

I have written nothing more negative than to say exactly what happened, if people think this practice is fine, they should have no problems visiting the restaurant. I think people should be warned about this practice at CH though so no one else gets taken by surprise by these charges. I even said in my post, "food was solid as usual, nothing to complain about in that department" - I think I am being very fair to them.

Edited by stephietoronto (log)
Bios Fitness trainer
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi, I did write them a note on my thoughts, and they have not written back with any explanation. I understand the splitting cost, I'm more aghast at charging for water! But even the splitting cost it should be mentioned at the point when you order too. At some restaurants, they charge for substitutions (e.g. changing the type of sauce, meat or pasta), but the waiter usually say at that point about this charge. That would be fine with me.

I have written nothing more negative than to say exactly what happened, if people think this practice is fine, they should have no problems visiting the restaurant. I think people should be warned about this practice at CH though so no one else gets taken by surprise by these charges. I even said in my post, "food was solid as usual, nothing to complain about in that department" - I think I am being very fair to them.

My brother and his wife normally split their entree. My s.i.l had surgery which greatly reduces the amount of food she can eat. When I've been out with them and the server has told them there is a charge for splitting the plate they have never complained. It's better to pay a small charge for the extra effort and extra plate that splitting costs than to order more for than they can consume and pay for food that can go to waste when they are travelling. Most often they just ask for a second plate to be brought to the table and some places even charge just for bringing an empty plate to the table.

I'm with you that not informing you when ordering that there was a charge associated with something as trivial as hot water instead of cold was wrong on the part of the restaurant.

I'm interested in why they are ingnoring your written communication with them. That's just plain bad form for any business.

Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Again, these are problems that should be addressed with a manager at the time, not with a note after the fact. These could be the faults of a server, and management should be informed immediately. Just curious, how much time has elapsed since you let them know of your bad experience?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would laugh ask to speak to the manager, and if he was stupid enough to insist those charges are legit, I would simply remove all those charges from their tip.

I'm surprised you let them get away with it.

Wouldn't you be penalizing the server for policy they have little control over?

It may be a bit unfair to take the tip away from the server, but if it happened enough times, the complaints from the servers because of this would eventually get back to the management.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...