I took our whole extended family(24 people) here today after our daughter's graduation. I had arranged for 1pm reservations, and we were to order off the lunch menu. Over the phone, I was assured the bar would not be included in our bill - that would be paid by those who chose to use the bar. Since I couldn't absolutely guarantee a minimum of 25 people, we could not have a buffet.( average cost of around $15 per person.) When we arrived, we found the dinner menu at our places. I found the owner and asked if we shouldn't have the lunch menu. He was quite firm on using the dinner menu (more expensive for the same portions). We all arrived within 10 minutes, and waited 40 minutes to order...I guess to justify the dinner menu???
I wished not to make a scene on our daughter's graduation from college, so I just took it - I know...my fault. This was the first time we were meeting out daughter's boyfriend's parents, and wanted things to go smoothly. I couldn't believe this, since I had called ahead (2 weeks) and was told the lunch menu could be used.
My husband and I were served cold lasagna. My husband's actually had ice crystals in it. The bill was impossible to read, (hand-written by wait staff) and since there was only one check, I thought the tip was included (and for $600, I figured it SHOULD have been!). I paid and we remained in the restaurant chatting while the staff cleared the table. I was among the last to leave. My brother called me and told me that they stopped HIM for the tip. I found it disrespectful that they did not speak to me, since I was the one who paid the check.
I got back to my daughter's dorm room and called the restaurant. I believe I spoke to the owner's wife. I told her about my understanding for the arrangements that had been made, and she offered no apologies. Really, that would have been nice. Instead, she made excuses for her husband...like - I told him he should include tips in large parties, but he only does it for buffets! I had budgeted $500 for LUNCH (with tip it came to about $730 - $30 per person! - For lunch!!), and had made many calls to local establishments to get estimated pricing. My daughter and I had even stopped in for lunch a week before graduation (on a Wednesday), and I have to say the food and service were much better.
Long story short, I feel like we were taken advantage of once we were there. If it had just been us and our kids, I would have left. This is the memory I am now stuck with for our daughter's college graduation.
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