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Restaurant Rules
  #1  
Old 08-08-2018, 07:24 AM
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jackfaire jackfaire is offline
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Default Restaurant Rules

So here's the thing I have worked in and dined in various restaurants over the years. I am not surprised if someone young doesn't quite know how things work. However what boggles my mind is not only if an older person doesn't know but then a ton of other people agree that "yeah that was BS"

On a group I frequent a person walked in when a promotion was going on for the day and wanted to use a coupon they had.

The coupon said "You can't combine discounts" this is actually a pretty standard thing. When me and my stepdad stop by Arby's for example we have to order separately so we can both use a coupon. I have never been to a place where more than one discount is allowed and again the guest said they knew this rule.

They were then confused when they got the promotional item and were then not allowed to use the coupon.

Both of those are discounts.

My confusion is that not only is this standard practice apparently considered "unheard of" by people commenting but they all feel a promotion is different than a discount.

To me that's like saying water is different than H2O.

Is this really that shockingly unheard of to people?
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Old 08-08-2018, 07:52 AM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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I wouldn't say it's quite that clear-cut. Depending on the setup of the restaurant, a promotion item may be different from a discount granted by a coupon. No, you shouldn't expect to be able to use two 20% off coupons on the same bill - although it is kind of ludicrous to then allow that if you dine together, but request separate bills - but if there is, say, a promotion of, "one slice of our new pie for free with your entree!" then it should be the server's responsibility to inform a customer if that cannot be used in conjunction with another coupon.

Wasn't there a story like that on NAR just today or so?
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  #3  
Old 08-08-2018, 08:27 AM
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Wasn't there a story like that on NAR just today or so?
It's the story I am talking about and the thing is I have never ever walked into a restaurant and had them say "So this here is a promotion a normal priced item is given to you for free or a lesser price while this over here is a coupon see totally different"

Instead they are always considered to both be discounts while one is a coupon and one is a promotion. They have never been able to be combined and it shocks me that anyone would think otherwise. Maybe it's just unique to all of the places I have eaten but none of them have combined discounts.
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Old 08-08-2018, 02:13 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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It is still two different things. One reduces the cost of the meal you want - 20% discount, a BOGO deal on entrees, whatever - while the other gives you a certain item for free if you do something to qualify - in this case, a slice of pie if you buy an entree.

Trying to apply two discounts - at least in my understanding - would be to try and use a BOGO as well as a 20% off coupon. But I wouldn't argue it, either, if a restaurant used a different definition - IF they bothered to actually explain it.

In the story in question, the customers presented their BOGO coupon to the waitress, and she then later did not explain that taking the free pie would invalidate their coupon - I presume that the slice of pie would've been cheaper than one full entree. That, to me, is disingenous, and I probably would've reacted the same as they did: dispute the bill, then never come back.
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Old 08-08-2018, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
In the story in question, the customers presented their BOGO coupon to the waitress, and she then later did not explain that taking the free pie would invalidate their coupon - I presume that the slice of pie would've been cheaper than one full entree. That, to me, is disingenous, and I probably would've reacted the same as they did: dispute the bill, then never come back.
Yeah see I was operating under the assumption the waitress wasn't a genius with an eidetic memory.

Promotions and Coupons are both discounts. The more reasonable thing would be to ask if you can use both instead of assuming one is a discount and the other isn't.

Generally at a sit down restaurant people take 30 to 45 minutes to eat. I often forget that someone mentioned a coupon 2 minutes earlier when they were at my drive thru speaker I wouldn't be surprised that half an hour later my server didn't remember that I mentioned a coupon.

I would be shocked if they did remember. It's my personal responsibility to make sure I am following the rules.

I wonder how much of this is OP bias.

See the same story from the other POV of the server appears all of the time and has people jumping to agree with the OP. The story in question seems to be asking that we expect no responsibility of the customers.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:34 PM
s_stabeler s_stabeler is offline
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I think it depends on what the customer is trying to do. if they're trying to use the free pie as the "buy one" part, then they should have seen it coming that it wouldn't work. However, if it's a case of qualifying separately for each coupon, then i'd have said allow it.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:51 PM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackfaire View Post
Yeah see I was operating under the assumption the waitress wasn't a genius with an eidetic memory.

Promotions and Coupons are both discounts. The more reasonable thing would be to ask if you can use both instead of assuming one is a discount and the other isn't.
This doesn't take a genius with an eidetic memory. A BOGO coupon is a pretty important part of her job, because it entails basically cutting the bill in half. That is something she should be remembering. And yes, part of the server's job is to remind their customers of any specials, deals, and restrictions on same.

But, let's say it was an honest mistake, could happen to anyone, she forgot the coupon when she brought out the pie. Didn't notice until she brought out the bill, then she *at the very least* should have charged for the (cheaper) pie, not for the (expensive) entree. The other way around just smells too much like a scam.
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  #8  
Old 08-08-2018, 06:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
But, let's say it was an honest mistake, could happen to anyone, she forgot the coupon when she brought out the pie. Didn't notice until she brought out the bill, then she *at the very least* should have charged for the (cheaper) pie, not for the (expensive) entree. The other way around just smells too much like a scam.
In 1992 sure.

In 2018 probably not.

See it used to be that all of these transactions were entirely manual. Discounts, orders, and etc used to all be entered in manually it wouldn't take a lot to change around what is being discounted.

However most restaurants these days especially chain ones use computerized registers that are programmed in such a way that it's hard to change anything.

I work at a drive thru. I take orders and I cash people out but I have two different registers to do this with. Once I take the order at my order taker stand and it's sent to the register for cash nothing short of a manager override will allow me to change anything about the customer's order.

Most likely the discount for the pie on that day is added automatically. The server likely has very little control over it. The OS is then programmed to ignore all other attempted discounts.

The manager may be able to override it which is then between the customer and the manager.

I think that's why part of it is an issue with older customers. Before computerized registers "the customer is always right" was easy you just give them what they want no matter who's right or wrong.

However when everything you do is per a computer program and you would have to literally reprogram it to do what the customer wants sometimes there isn't anything you can do.
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Old 08-09-2018, 06:13 AM
Canarr Canarr is offline
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Well, in that case you have just disproved your entire argument.

The two people in question ordered their entrees and presented their BOGO coupon. The waitress didn't even offer the pie until they were almost through with their entrees, so if your assumption of the restaurant's computer system is correct, then the computer shouldn't have been able to accept the entering of the free pie after the coupon was already in the system.
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  #10  
Old 08-09-2018, 04:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canarr View Post
The two people in question ordered their entrees and presented their BOGO coupon.
Except based on how it's written I am operating under the assumption that "showing" isn't "giving" They said they showed the coupon to the waitress. This most likely being a "is this coupon still good and valid" they then pocket said coupon to present at the end of the meal for when they pay.

During the meal they accept another separate discount not thinking about the fact they have a coupon that says specifically they cannot do this.

Should the discounts be swapped if possible absolutely.

Should they get both because they themselves either forgot or didn't read the terms and conditions. No.

Are they responsible for keeping in mind anything and everything that goes into the paying their bill portion of the transaction. Absolutely.

What everyone else seems to feel is that as the customer they have 0 responsibility for any part of this transaction. That once they entered the restaurant they should expect their hands to be held and all information spoon fed to them under the assumption they don't know anything.
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