LETTER: Local customer upset over hidden chargesPublished 11:41am Wednesday, December 25, 2013
On the evening of Dec. 5, 2013, my wife and I attended a dinner with friends at a local restaurant in Hartselle. We encountered a “first”; our meal was nothing extravagant and reasonably priced for an evening meal. However, when we received our meal tickets, we noticed we had been charged for two “Event Drinks” at $2.29 each. We immediately thought we had received the wrong tickets as my wife and I each had water to drink. My wife asked the waitress about these Event Drinks. She explained that instead of charging for the room in which we ate, they charged everyone for an Event Drink to pay for using the room. Also, there was a gratuity charge of $4.24; and of course sales tax of $2.13 for a total of $10.95 of add-on charges.
We are by no means against giving a tip to the waitress, who, by the way was very punctual; however, $2.29 for a glass of water and a forced gratuity of $4.24 when we would prefer to make our own choice of a tip which would most likely have been more than this, is a bit much to swallow.
I made several calls to other restaurants in Hartselle to see if this was the norm. I found out that the only other eatery in Hartselle using this policy is a “Bistro”, as it is called.
Of course, this country boy owes much to some of the learned business people in Hartselle, and I appreciate each of them. However, I am thankful for Interstate 65 which gives me a choice of going north or south for shopping and dining. Folks, we are in a recession, and I for one cannot afford to eat at places which have $10.95 in add-on’s for a meal ticket; therefore, I am thankful I have a choice of other places more reasonably priced.