No Break for Child with Steak

June 24, 2013

in Food & Drink Stories

My husband, mother, mother-in-law, father-in-law, two daughters and I were going out to dinner for my husband’s birthday. We decided to head to a favorite higher-end local restaurant that recently changed owners. Everyone was very excited.

So, we got there (it is only about fifteen minutes from our house) and all was well. The host was fairly pleasant and the decor exquisite. He seated us in a booth near the back, which I didn’t mind. Our waitress quickly came over and we ordered our drinks, which were served promptly. After looking over the menu for a few moments, we were ready to order. A few of us ordered steak while the rest opted for other choices.

One of my daughters is very picky about what she eats while the other would eat the table if she could. My picky daughter really wanted steak without sides or any sort of sauce. Just plain steak. Seeing as the price of the dish was $36, I figured that the restaurant would charge me about $12-$15 for a plain, child-sized portion of steak. (This restaurant had no children’s menu.) We asked the waitress about this and she said that she “would check on it.”

Within a few minutes, our waitress came back with bad news, they could do us a “favor” and take only $6 off the original price. By the way, this was not even filet mignon or a similar cut of meat. Appalled, I whispered to the waitress that that was ridiculous and we could figure it out on our own. She called the manager over. Since it was my husband’s birthday, I didn’t want to create a ruckus and told him that everything was fine.

My daughter who eats everything and didn’t really want steak that night became a trooper and agreed to split a steak with her sister. Thank gosh! The whole ambiance was ruined because of my first impression. We may or may not be going back.

{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

Ros June 25, 2013 at 2:17 am

Thats what you should have done. Not up to the restaurant to take a hit on price cause you think your child is special, she isn't. You're complaining about this? Get on your knees and kiss their *** for offering you a 17% discount in the first place. Geesh, get over yourself, and you have the audacity to come take the time to post about it and gripe even more? Stay home and cook your own da*n steak.

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Comb June 25, 2013 at 5:10 am

If a restaurant doesn't have a child's menu, don't bring your children there. Don't expect that the restaurant to create a 'child's menu' catering to to your brat on the fly – how to raise entitled children.

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Serenity June 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm

If a restaurant doesn't have a child's menu, that means there ARE no child's portions of steak. So basically, you wanted them to make and charge you for a portion size they don't have. In order to accommodate that, they would have to cut the steak in half, serve half to your kid, and the other half gets thrown out as nobody else is going to eat that half of a steak. They offered you a discount, which they didn't have to do, but bc they wouldn't do EXACTLY what you wanted the "whole ambiance was ruined"? give me a break. And I'm sure your child being picky is a direct result of you letting her have whatever she wants, instead of telling her what she can have. Good thing your other daughter saved the day or you might have had to do some actual parenting!!! As for not being sure if you'll ever go back to that restaurant, do them a favor and don't. They attempted to be nice and accommodate you, and in return you were "appalled" and from the sounds of it, being very overly dramatic and entitled. I think they'll be quite alright without your business.

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ncbohemian June 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

If I could, I'd click the "thumbs up" button on this 25 damn times! Perfectly written, Serenity!

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Edmund June 25, 2013 at 10:46 pm

Ditto on the quality of the response.

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guest reader June 25, 2013 at 4:57 pm

I have to agree that if the restaurant had no child's menu you were out of order to expect them to create a special dish for your child. Omitting or substituting a side because of food allergies? Definitely OK. Serving a half-portion and charging half-price because your child doesn't want the whole item? Not OK. The best thing would have been for you to order the full item and take the leftovers home.

It was gracious of them to offer a discount as they did.

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Mb June 28, 2013 at 5:15 am

Have you ever eaten in a restaurant before?
I agree with other comments.
If this was supposed to be a special dinner maybe some research should have been done beforehand.
I have never heard anything so ridic.

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Mb June 28, 2013 at 5:21 am

And while I am at it.,,, WTF? Is a Childs portion of steak?

There is strip steak. Rib eye. Skirt steak. Filet mignon. London broil. Tri tip.

Nowhere on a cow is child portion steak.

Doesn’t exist. Moron

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Moho June 28, 2013 at 9:13 am

Maybe a child's portion of steak can be obtained from a young cow?

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Sergio July 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm

A.k.a veal.. still.. no..

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Mike July 1, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Yeah, I went to a Mcdonalds and told them I only really wanted a half a big mac. Those jerks had the nerve to charge me full price, and gave me a full big mac when I CLEARLY stated I only wanted half, AND RUINED MY WHOLE NIGHT.

And don't even get me started on that completely unprofessional box office agent… I ONLY WANTED TO SEE HALF OF SPIDERMAN! WHY SHOULD I PAY!?! I'LL NEVER PAY FULL PRICE WHAAARGAARBLLLE!!!

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Mike July 1, 2013 at 3:08 pm

also, lady, good steak (not great) is 12 bucks a pound. So how are they supposed to create a new dish (specifically for you), pay the chef, pay their overhead… and cover it all for the measely 12 bucks you offered them. The original price, I promise, just covered the beef and the effort to cook it. Whether or not your snowflake wanted the 5 cent side of spuds is irrelevant.

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spud July 3, 2013 at 3:15 pm

You're the kind of person whose food gets spit in. Ever think that they're trying to run a business?

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Michelle July 5, 2013 at 7:24 pm

You are absolutely correct. I've worked in enough bars and restaurants in my lifetime to know what really goes on in restaurant kitchens. Ryan Reynolds said it best in the movie Waiting: "Never f*ck with people who handle your food."

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mrsjamiecbaker July 5, 2013 at 8:33 am

I understand your frustration. In every restaurant I've worked at, I've run into customers who wish to skip the side dishes and then become upset because no sides doesn't mean a lower price. But unfortunately, that's just the way the business works. Unless you go to a steakhouse (or other establishment) where the sides cost extra, you shouldn't expect a discount for skipping the sides. Given that this establishment didn't even have a children's menu, you should not have expected a discount for just ordering a plain steak.
The best thing to do in order to avoid this is to do a bit of research prior to dining out. A great restaurant choice for a picky child might be one that allows customers to order extra portions of the entree (there is one by my house that allows add-ons of steak, chicken, shrimp etc for around $6) and then request that the extra piece be served on a separate plate. That is an easy one for restaurants and will save you money and the headache.
I hope you tipped the waitress well, as she did her job and tried to help you. Had you actually spoken with the manager after your waitress called him over, you might have gotten a better deal than the one offered. The manager came to assist. I don't see how anything you said to the manager would have ruined the evening since it was already rocky because of the steak issue. It was likely that the manager would have made your evening wonderful.
Bottom line: assume the prices are fixed regardless of what you subtract from the plate. No kids menu = no kids portions. Telling the server that a policy is "ridiculous" does nothing but irritate your server (who has no control over policies). If a manager comes to help, take the help. If dining out is too much of a hassle, stay home.

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Jack July 8, 2013 at 4:35 pm

I think someone else asked you if you have ever eaten out before. Your kid sounds spoiled and you sound rather ignorant. If you are taking your children out to eat, and you know one child is picky, that's a good time to teach her that the world doesn't revolve around her. Sounds to me you are just a cheap-ass.

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Rachel July 9, 2013 at 1:44 am

This entire post smacks of entitlement…If I hadn't worked in the restaurant biz myself, and met pampered little housewives exactly like you, I would have assumed you were trolling. Others have already stated why this post amounts to little more than foot-stamping brattyness on your part, but here are mine:

A. If a restaurant does not have a children's menu, it is not on accident. It is not a 'family friendly' joint, and instead, is a sophisticated adult venue. They will not stop you from being your kids (though they will probably be less tolerant of atmosphere-crushing ruckuses than a family-friendly hellhole), but you cannot expect them to bend over backward to accommodate children. You strike me as one of those people who enjoyed childless venues until you shat your own kid out, and suddenly expected the world to conform to your family life…that's not how the world works. It does not revolve around your family, it does not revolve around your 'I only eat steak' daughter, and it does not revolve around you.

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Rachel July 9, 2013 at 1:45 am

B. Those little numbers on the menu were never meant to be negotiated. Not if you are a vegetarian who wants the meat left off a regular pasta-and-shrimp entrée (this is, in fact, a much more reasonable complaint than yours), or a mother who's brat will only eat $30 steaks to begin with. __You actually expected the restaurant to eat a loss so they could accommodate you? That's not how businesses work…see, they tolerate your entitled ass, because you, the customer, pay THEM to feed you. It is not because they like you, and if you have the mentality that you are projecting, they don't want your cheap ass to come back. They don't cut a steak ($12-15/lb) in half, throw half away (because no one goes to an adult venue to eat half a steak…are you kidding me?), and then cut 20 bucks off the price for you. They were really too generous to give you the 17% discount to begin with.

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Rachel July 9, 2013 at 1:46 am

C. If you didn't look at the price, and tell Picky Daughter that she would either have to go hungry or find something cheaper to eat, you have a problem. Especially since you forced your other, more easy-going daughter to accommodate her. Is that how it works in your house? Does easy-going daughter constantly have her interests trampled so you can pamper finicky-daughter? Essentially, she's punished for not being an entitled brat. I've seen lots of people "parent" like this, and it is dysfunctional as hell for all children involved. One child is forced to be the "precocious" uber-mature peacemaker who bends over for everyone (in other words, forced into an adult role in her childhood, because you won't step up and be an adult), and the other is the Little Empress You Dare Not Cross (after all, Mommy expects the world to conform to her).

I don't advocate forcing all kinds of foods down children's throats, or the destructive 'empty plate' parenting…but, in this case, it is pretty clear that your daughter rules the table, because you let her. Parenting takes work. It is not the restaurant's job to take a loss because you won't do it.

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Sandra July 9, 2013 at 3:37 pm

Let me get this straight. There are more than 100 items listed on a typical restaurant menu–to say nothing of how you can alter them all! And, yet, this whole sad little tale hinges on the fact that, out of those 100+ dishes, the only thing in the world your Precious Snowflake could be persuaded to eat is a $36 dollar cut of steak?

I have a picky child, too–some children are just like that. Here's the thing though–he knows where the picky-line ends with me. I let him eat hotdogs instead of fish, for example. I let him eat just a little bit of chicken when I make chicken. I accommodate him a little–but I refuse to plan a meal around his palette. He would damn well know better than to *only* want a $36 dollar meal without the free appetizer. Maybe he wouldn't like his pasta, or his chicken, or his pork, or whatever the hell else I found instead on the 100+item menu, but he sure as hell would eat it with no complaint.

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Tyna September 17, 2013 at 2:09 pm

there are so many wrongs here: how can you just "figure" that a restaurant will accommodate a lower price? You know what assuming does… in any case- you could have nicely asked. Otherwise, you order the steak- pay the price- and take left overs home. You fail to even mention how old your daughter is: perhaps it's because it would be embarrassing if everyone knew she was so spoiled. Going to an upscale restaurant with kids was your first mistake. Your second, assuming you'd get a lower price without actually asking for details upon your order. A discount was MORE than generous- and your daughter who eats everything didn't really "help" out more than taking leftovers home would've. Next time dont feel so entitled.

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Sickayou October 12, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Arrrrrrrrggggggggghhhhhh. You are so f'n entitled? Your rant reds like a parody. Guess which child takes after you? P.s. please home school your kids. Don't torture the schools with your unending NEEDS THAT MUST BE MET NOW. And that's how you act when you are trying NOT to Mae a scene?

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NopeNopeNope December 6, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Why not order the steak plate for yourself and give your picky princess a bit of your steak? I'm sure that restaurant won't miss you.

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Hugh December 19, 2013 at 9:10 am

You are a horrible person. You are entitled, and your children will likely grow up to be animals. How dare you expect this restaurant to take a loss for you. Also, could you explain the math where leaving sides off a $36 steak entree results in a charge of $12-$15?? I echo the sentiments of pretty much every other poster.

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everyonespal January 16, 2014 at 5:37 pm

hey, dont be so harsh. in italy they love kids and they get real cheap or free food in restaurants with adults. I think they sound a fun family and I would rather sit with them than you cheapskates who begruge a starving child a meal. shame on y'all.

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sonja April 17, 2014 at 11:18 am

I only watch half the show…cable company should charge me half.
I only wear my Jimmy Choo shoes every once and awhile…shouldve only paid halfprice..Get my point!!!???

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theblonde April 18, 2014 at 9:22 pm

What I want to know is why the child that wanted the steak took precedence over the one who didn't? Would it have gone the other way? Why did she have to 'be a trooper?'

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Michael Fung January 4, 2015 at 3:01 pm

Enter text right here!

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hanan beef September 8, 2015 at 12:54 pm

They tried to be nice and take care of you, and in return, you have been "shocked", and from the sound of it, is very overly dramatic and qualifications.

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Amber May 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

A restaurant that doesn't have a kids menu is not a restaurant you take kids to. The lack of kids menu actually is trying to tell you it's not a family restaurant but an up-scale place for adults wanting a nice evening away from the kids.

To expect the Steak to be $20 less simply because you don't want the rest of the meal is absurd and entitled. If your child won't eat the full meal you either take the rest home or order yourself the item she wants and share with her.

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Mel November 1, 2016 at 3:59 pm

You entitled POS. You took kids to a restaurant that doesn't cater to children and expected them to cater to not only your children, but your picky child who has obviously learned her atrocious behavior from you? Prices aren't set by your server and no, they shouldn't make exceptions for your entitled butt just because you refused to leave your children at home, find a kid-friendly restaurant or (SHOCKER!) pay in full for a meal that you ordered! Idiot!

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theblonde February 28, 2017 at 9:47 am

"a booth near the back, which I didn't mind." was really the first clue that you are an entitled person who does not understand how restaurants work. The fact that you wanted to make your own menu nailed it home. Honestly, no one could split their steak with her, or someone could take the sides that she didn't want, or you could take some food home?

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gaynorvader March 9, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Protip: Appetizers make good substitutions for a kid's menu, get 2-3 apps for your 2 kids, problem solved

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