Diners Charged Dinner Price for Lunch Item

March 12, 2013

in Server Stories

A few years back I stopped into a Mexican place for lunch with a friend – my treat. I had just graduated from college and was on a somewhat tight budget and asked my friend to constrain himself to the lunch menu.

It was 1:30 pm and they stopped serving lunch at 2:30 pm. After about 15 minutes of getting our drinks, my friend and I proceeded to order. I ordered a chicken tortilla dish that I couldn’t quite pronounce. Because I couldn’t pronounce it, I pointed to the menu (the lunch menu on the back) while I ordered. My friend decided to order the exact same thing.

Our food comes and everything seems good. Service was a bit slow, but nothing horrible. Then the bill comes and I notice it’s for a full $10 more than I anticipated. I tracked down the waiter and explained that our lunch meal should have been $6.95, not $11.95 each. He said “You both got the dinner.” I told him that I had not ordered the dinner portion, and in fact had pointed to the lunch menu, during lunch hours. He replied with “Well, you ate a dinner portion.” My friend and I had never ordered that meal before and had no idea the size difference between a lunch and dinner portion, and I had definitely made my lunch preference clear.

I asked to see a manager, and when the manager came they said I would have to pay the full bill. I was livid at this point and told him that I would pay for what I had ordered, not for their mistake. It was only $10, but it was the principle of the matter. Then both the manager and server proceeded to yell at me at the register. I put down $2 less than what our meal SHOULD have cost and walked out, all while they threatened to call the police. I was a server for 4 years in college, and that’s the first and only time I have ever stiffed my waiter or paid less than the bill (and I don’t feel a single regret about it).

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

lilisya March 13, 2013 at 9:14 am

so sorry to hear that! happened to me before at tony roma's but they apologized immediately and charged it back at lunch price.


Sarah March 17, 2013 at 3:09 am

You are a cheap loser.


springs1 March 17, 2013 at 2:23 pm

I have had things happen before like that, but luckily the managers didn't argue with me over it.

That was good that you didn't get stolen from and it was good you stiffed. That was just wrong. It doesn't matter if you ate it, you didn't "ORDER" it.

This is what happened to me and my husband:

First time we set foot in this chain restaurant in like 6 or so years and only had been once before ever. I wanted to try some different margaritas and a dessert, so we went for just drinks and dessert. We ordered 2 margaritas on the drink menu that was on the table standing up like one of those menus that stand up. I ordered one that was $5.95 and my husband ordered one that was $6.95. When we get the check, it's got $9.95 each for both, we were like "It's not $9.95" to our waitress. She was like "Well you ordered the "BIGGER ONES." I was floored that she said that and that it was on the menu what we ordered. I told her "What you are talking about" that it's on the menu and SHOWED IT TO HER EVEN. It's actually also on the food menu too. Well, anyway she didn't say she was sorry even. I even saw her sit at a booth for a while that's how slow it was and we knew the menu *BETTER* than her. She handled it it the most nasty way by saying that. We didn't order "bigger ones", because we didn't know we were getting "BIGGER" ones. We hadn't been there in many years and back when I was there I didn't even order that margarita, I ordered just like a regular one that just said margarita not a specialty drink because back then I didn't drink as much fancy drinks back then because I wasn't even married yet at the time. This was back in 2001 we had gone the first time, but this issue happened I believe in 2007 or so. Well of course we stiffed. I mean no apology even and I couldn't believe that we knew more than her about the drink menu, which we weren't even there an hour even. Turns out they have more than one size, but she certainly NEVER ONCE told us that. She purposely tried to upsell without our consent and got reported as well as stiffed. She deserved it.

It's theft what these servers and what your manager did. If you didn't order it, you certainly have no legal obligation to pay for something you didn't order.


Philly Aidan Mahurin March 19, 2013 at 2:16 am

wow…. I just… wow…


The Bride March 20, 2013 at 3:15 am

Don't get her started on mozzarella sticks and the fucking marinara sauce.


Enteresante March 20, 2013 at 4:40 am

Wow, what a nutter. What an adventure this person must have when eating out! Every journey to a restaurant/Fast food chain is transmuted into "Ride of the Valkyrie"!


Thesauce March 21, 2013 at 12:03 am

No springs1, it's only "NUTS" when you open and run…and run… your mouth!


Mike March 21, 2013 at 3:12 pm

I had heard of this springs1 person from reading fuck my table (which i loved..). I have to say, she's even more fucked up than I imagined.

I would recommend you never, ever, go out to eat again. I fear for your health and your sanity. Someday, springs1, they will find you slumped over your keyboard, the victim of a stroke, applebee's check still clutched in your furious, pudgy fingers.


Background: 10+ years slinging plates, last 3 in fine dining and private catering.


Mike March 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm

and no, springs1, I'm not calling you fat. I just imagine you have fingers as thick as a double-battered mozerella stick.


mrsjamiecbaker March 22, 2013 at 9:21 am

Don't feed the trolls 🙂

In regards to the original post, I've had this happen to me and had it happen to my tables when our systems automatically switch over to reflect different prices. I caught the error all but one time and it was a quick fix with the manager. That said, I did work with people who would purposely ring in salad bars late so it created an auto-upcharge to a dinner bar in order to hopefully fool the customer and up their tip. Your experience sounds like you were dealing with shady people. Thankfully, this isn't something that happens too often 🙂


Jason March 24, 2013 at 1:20 am

You are cheap.


Amber May 9, 2016 at 5:00 pm

You paid less then your bill should have been. Rude and entitled you are, I understand not wanting to pay the full price when you wanted the lunch price during lunch hours, you specified by pointing to the lunch menu, it was their mistake and you should only pay what the lunch bill would have been. But that means you pay what you owed not stiff them less then you owe, that is theft.


Leave a Comment
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post:

Next post: