Years ago, when we were living in San Antonio, a new restaurant opened up near us, nestled into a stand of live oak trees. We couldn’t wait to try it, and my husband and I even brought a friend with us. The food was good, but a little pricey, especially since the portions were so small, we found the three of us fighting each other for the last roll to fill our still rumbling stomachs.
Nowadays, of course, restaurants give you your money’s worth and then some. The portions are way too much for most people to eat without feeling stuffed. My husband and I have taken to splitting a meal, not to save money, but because we don’t want to have food thrown away. If we’re going home right after dinner, we could take the leftovers with us, but usually we’re going shopping or to a movie and the food wouldn’t keep.
Why can’t restaurants give smaller portions and charge less? I don’t think they would lose money because maybe more people would go out to eat and people like my husband and me would each order their own meal instead of sharing. In this economy it makes more sense. Plus, it’s not like we’re a nation of skinny minnies and skinny guys, is it?
Recently, my nephew in California went to a restaurant called Chevys with a 2-for-1 coupon for a combo meal. He ordered his first combo meal and waited to place his free order after he ate, as the waitress suggested, since he was going to take it home instead of eating it there. When the waitress took his second combo order, my nephew said he just wanted the rice, beans, and the corn dessert. When his check came, he was dismayed he had been charged for those items. He complained, and both the waitress and manager said company policy is that, in order to use the 2-for-1 coupon, the customer has to take everything that is coming to him, and that includes the tacos and chiles. In other words, neither the manager nor the waitress cared that, had my nephew taken everything, he would have thrown a large portion of it away. Into the garbage. While homeless people go hungry. While children can’t wait until school starts so they can get free breakfast and lunch. While mothers watch their babies starve to death. Every day.
My nephew was so upset, he submitted a comment on the company’s website contact form, explaining what transpired. Here is his last paragraph:
“Your company does a nice job of making calorie information available to the consumer, as well as consolidated information on how to make healthy choices from the menu. Why can’t it be responsible here as well? Your policy makes true all the American stereotypes of excess and waste, embarrassing all of us.”
Well said, nephew. I’m waiting to hear their response. If any.